James L. Brooks, a key figure in the creation and production of "The Simpsons," has refuted rumors suggesting the series would abandon its iconic scene where Homer Simpson strangles his son Bart. This speculation arose following an episode that hinted at a possible change in the character's behavior, aligning with contemporary sensibilities. However, Brooks clarified that this long-standing element of the show would continue.
"Don’t think for a second we’re changing anything," Brooks said to People magazine.
"Nothing's getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing," Brooks confirmed. "He'll continue to be strangled – [if] you want to use that awful term for it. He'll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way."
In the third episode of the 35th season of the show, titled "McMansion & Wife," Homer and his family visit their new neighbor's house to introduce themselves. They meet Thayer Blackburn, portrayed by Hank Azaria. As Homer shakes hands with Blackburn, he is impressed by Homer's strong grip.
"See, Marge, strangling the boy has paid off," Homer quipped. "Just kidding. I don't do that anymore. Times have changed."
The phrase "times have changed," as mentioned in a recent episode, sparked a debate among fans on social media. Some viewers interpreted this as the show yielding to modern cultural sensitivities by potentially dropping its recurring gag of Homer strangling Bart, which hasn't been depicted since season 31.
In reaction to this uproar, Matt Groening, the show's creator, crafted a new drawing featuring Homer strangling Bart. In the illustration, Bart is seen holding a phone displaying the headline, ‘Simpsons: No Strangling.’ Above Homer is a speech bubble reading, 'Why you little clickbaiting-!!'
Homer Simpson was unavailable for comment as he was busy strangling Bart. pic.twitter.com/Yh6koeqTQS
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) November 9, 2023
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