The 2000 episode “Bart to the Future” sees Lisa Simpson as president in the year 2030. At one point she laments, “We’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump.” Now, Twitter users are claiming that the show predicted Trump’s death. Is there any truth to these rumors?
‘The Simpsons’ didn’t predict Trump’s death — the image being circulated is fake.
Despite a watermark bearing The Huffington Post’s name, the picture of Trump in a coffin did not originate on the news aggregator. According to a video from the popular Mexican YouTube channel “Badabun,” the authentic-looking drawing first appeared in a thread on the controversial website 4chan. Its creator is unknown.
Most recently, the Fox sitcom was lauded for seemingly predicting the coronavirus, national riots, and emergence of murder hornets all in a single episode. The plot of 1993’s “Marge in Chains” features residents of Springfield getting sick with a flu-like virus after an assembly line worker in Osaka, Japan coughs into a box that is then shipped to Homer.
Later, the townspeople riot after the Springfield Park Commission fails to raise enough money to buy a statue of Abraham Lincoln, leading them to purchase one of Jimmy Carter instead. Amid the mayhem, the angry crowd tips over a truck containing crates of killer bees.
One of the episode’s writers, Bill Oakley, admitted that he isn’t too happy about the modern-day comparisons. “I don’t like it being used for nefarious purposes,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in March.
“The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia — I think that is gross,” he continued, explaining how news headlines from his childhood inspired the “Osaka Flu” storyline.
“I believe the most antecedent to [Osaka Flu] was the Hong Kong flu of 1968. It was just supposed to be a quick joke about how the flu got here,” he noted. “It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into a box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box.”
Oakley added that people give the series too much credit. “There are very few cases where The Simpsons predicted something,” he insisted. “It’s mainly just coincidence because the episodes are so old that history repeats itself. Most of these episodes are based on things that happened in the ‘60s, ‘70s, or ‘80s that we knew about.”
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