The Simpsons has made headlines again for seemingly predicting the future, this time on the topic of the coronavirus outbreak. A collage of stills from the 1993 Simpsons episode “Marge in Chains” has been trending online. 

The episode revolved around Marge Simpson getting arrested for shoplifting while she was out shopping for supplies for her family who are all sick with the “Osaka Flu.” Co-writer of the episode, Bill Oakley, has debunked this myth. 

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Oakley stated, “I don’t like it being used for nefarious purposes. 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.”

He continued, “It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into a box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box. 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.” 

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