Bill Oakley, a former writer on The Simpsons, has conceded that the show did indeed “predict 2020”.
A Twitter user posted a clip from the season four episode “Marge in Chains”, the instalment that had previously gone viral for its depiction of the (fictional) Japanese-originated “Osaka flu”, which many claimed had “predicted” the coronavirus pandemic.
The new clip shows an angry mob surround the offices of Dr Hibbert, Springfield’s resident medical expert, demanding a placebo cure for the virus.
Some viewers have interpreted this as a “prediction” of the spurious medical advice offered by US president Donald Trump, who has previously recommended Hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus, against the recommendation of medical experts.
In the clip, the braying cartoon mob, in an effort to get to the placebos as quickly as possible, knock over a box containing “killer bees”, which people are also saying prophesied the arrival of deadly “murder hornets” in the US this week.
Alongside the video, the user posted a message saying: “S*** the Simpsons really did predict 2020.”
Oakley then responded on the website, wryly conceding: “OK fine I guess we did.”
The writer, who worked on the series throughout some of its most beloved seasons, has previously poured cold water over the trend of viral Simpsons “predictions”.
“It’s mainly just coincidence because the episodes are so old that history repeats itself,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Most of these episodes are based on things that happened in the Sixties, Seventies or Eighties that we knew about.”
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