Al Jean Responds to 'The Simpsons' Retractions Following Japan Earthquake
When tragedy strikes, jokes are put aside. Some episodes of "The Simpsons" had to be either edited or pulled out in several European countries to remove sensitive storylines involving a disaster at a nuclear plant in light of the current crisis in Japan. The cartoon series' creator Al Jean has responded to the situation, saying he completely understands.
Homer Simpson, the dysfunctional family's patriarch, works in a nuclear power plant in Springfield and has often been portrayed careless at work. Germany's Pro7 channel went through new episodes of "The Simpsons" and removed "unsuitable" segments featuring trouble at the nuclear power plant. An Austrian network has even pulled two episodes, 1992's "Marge Gets a Job" and 2005's "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister" where jokes about radiation poisoning and nuclear meltdowns are in.
Asian officials are trying their hard to contain the radiation levels around a nuclear center in Fukushima after it was damaged in the earthquake and tsunami happening on March 11. Jean said in an interview with EW, "We would never make light of what's happening in Japan."
He added that there will be no potentially sensitive material in upcoming new episodes. "Some of them are workplace shows, but they are just about Homer being at work," he said. "They're not about nuclear power." Twentieth Television has even sent out a list of episodes to U.S. stations that air the series so that they can decide ahead whether to air them or not.
Despite no more highlight on Homer's work, Jean said the character is not leaving his job. "He's still going to work there. We have a rich universe in which we can do a million things and not touch on that," Jean explained.
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