This week’s Conservative Party conference got off to an unexpected start when party leader, Boris
Johnson, accused Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening of “predicting” the coronavirus outbreak ahead of
its official discovery late last year. Mr Johnson, who declined to comment on his words, proceeded to
place the blame for the UK’s high number of infections, for which Johnson himself has been bearing
much of the criticism, squarely on the cartoon’s writers. The Prime Minister is quoted as calling
Groening “the harbinger of death” and naming Simpsons co-writer Al Jean, “feckless” and
When asked to explain his remarks, aides in Downing Street made the following comment: “The
Prime Minister, in liaison with the Culture Secretary and others concerned with public safety, has
evidence to suggest that the creators of The Simpsons had predicted this disaster up to five years
before it occurred, and failed to inform the public”.
Experts at University College London Department of Social and Political Science (UCLSP) believe
that Johnson’s accusations have come from the widely observed phenomenon researchers have termed
‘The Simpsons Effect’. The wildly popular animated sitcom has a mysterious habit of featuring fiction
that later becomes fact with great specificity, including the premiership of US President Donald
Trump and the results of the 1992 NFL Superbowl. Experts debate the validity of the concept,
although Johnson’s allies in the party insist his claims are based on solid evidence.
However, outcry on social media platforms dismissed Mr Johnson’s claims as ‘ridiculous’ and
‘random’, with many insisting that the Prime Minister was attempting to deflect blame from his
government and that there was ‘no evidence’ that this crisis had been predicted with any accuracy.
Commentators at the conference asked the PM what his planned next steps were and whether he
planned to pursue legal action against Mr Groening. Visibly flustered, Mr Johnson insisted that he
wanted justice for the British people and would do “everything in his power” to begin criminal
proceedings against “everyone involved” in The Simpsons.
He went on to assure everyone at the conference, in response to criticism from the Labour representative, that he was not attempting to deflect blame or attention away from himself. He feels “definitely a degree” of personal responsibility, but he does not want the “real culprit” to go unpunished.
It is unknown at this time whether the Prime Minister will be successful in his bid for legal
proceedings against Mr Groening.
By Lottie Goodger