The Simpsons cast and producers explained how they've been predicting the future. Entertainment Tonight spoke with the cast and crew about the psychic prediction phenomena that surrounds the show. This all started when a clip from the episode "Marge in Chains" started making the rounds. The 1993 episode chronicles a flu-like virus taking hold of the town. Things only got crazier when the people's quest for a vaccine led them to unleash bees on the crows and ensuing panic. With Murder Hornets among us now, people have just become sure that The Simpsons can predict the future. Nancy Cartwright voices Bart Simpson on the program and she believes that this is a longevity phenomenon rather than pure predictive power.
"We've got quite a track record, which is impressive," Cartwright joked, while Yardley Smith, who voices Lisa, added, "If you've been on for three decades, probably you're going to hit it once in a while."
Showrunner Al Jean laughed, "What people are telling us now is, 'Start predicting some good things!' Because these have been too negative."
Bill Oakley wrote for the series as well and finally caved on Twitter when confronted with the clip. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he's not a believer in the conspiracy theories around the show.
"I don't like it being used for nefarious purposes," Oakley began. "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. 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."
"It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box," he continued. "It is cartoonish. We intentionally made it cartoonish because we wanted it to be silly and not scary, and not carry any of these bad associations along with it, which is why the virus itself was acting like a cartoon character and behaving in extremely unrealistic ways."
"There are very few cases where The Simpsons predicted something," Oakley added. "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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