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'Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean reacts to Russia-Ukraine crisis prediction

As tensions between Ukraine and Russia heightened following Russian military's operation, many claimed that 'The Simpsons' once again predict a major event back in 1998. Social media was flooded with such speculations with Internet users sharing snippets from the episodes. 

India TV Entertainment Desk Edited by: India TV Entertainment Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 26, 2022 12:37 IST
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"The Simpsons" is one of the most-loved animated sitcoms of all time but often it has been said to have predicted the future. As tensions between Ukraine and Russia heightened following Russian military's operation, many claimed that 'The Simpsons' once again predict a major event back in 1998. Social media was flooded with such speculations with Internet users sharing snippets from the episodes. These posts also reached 'Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean. Reacting to these posts, Jean called it a sad situation.

Speaking spoke to The Hollywood Reporter he said that a joke made 24 years ago is now a stark reality which is "very sad. Jean said, "In terms of predictions, there are two kinds we have: The trivial, like Don Mattingly getting in trouble for his hair in 'Homer at the Bat' and then there are predictions like this." 

"I hate to say it, but I was born in 1961, so 30 years of my life were lived with the specter of the Soviet Union. So, to me, this is sadly more the norm than it is a prediction. We just figured things were going to go bad," he continued. 

The moment, which is now being considered to be a prediction, occurred in the 1998 episode 'Simpson Tide'. While on a nuclear submarine participating in a military exercise, Homer unintentionally fires the sub captain out of the vessel into Russian waters. Cut to Russia revealing that the Soviet Union never truly dissolved; troops and tanks descend upon the streets as the Berlin Wall is instantly resurrected. Jean noted that the show was able to clear the rights to use 'The Internationale' for the 1998-episode gag, so there was no pushback. 

"Historical aggression never really goes away, and you have to be super vigilant. In 1998, when this clip aired, it was maybe the zenith of U.S.-Russia relations. But ever since [Russian President Vladimir] Putin got in, almost everybody has made it clear that he's a bad guy and bad things are going to happen," Jean said. 

"There is the kind of prediction, where we reference something that has happened, happening again, we hope it wouldn't, but sadly, it does," stated Jean, adding that the series will likely address how the world is changing, but viewers shouldn't expect a specific Russia-Ukraine reference.

The affable story of the titular family, which consists of middle class couple Homer and Marge as well as their three children, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, continues to touch lives of many people across the globe that brought it a dedicated following over the course of the last 30 years. Previously also through the years, the long-running Fox cartoon has made news several times for seemingly predicting the future. For the most part, the situations are humorous, such as a Super Bowl matchup or the invention of FaceTime. 

-- with ANI inputs

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