In the episode titled ‘Poorhouse Rock’, Hugh Jackman and former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich led a song about the death of the US middle class.
During the number, a character resembling Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson is shown (via Deadline), saying: “Putin for president, next on Fox News.”
Facebook is similarly called out for spreading misinformation in the song’s lyrics: “Facebook feeds our fright / They convince us things were great when gas was cheap and men were white.” A Mark Zuckerberg-like character is also seen pressing a red button which reads “death of democracy”.
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) May 23, 2022
Jackman, voicing a singing janitor, begins the eight-minute musical number as a challenge to Bart Simpson – who is inspired by his father Homer’s job at the nuclear power plant. “Hate to burst your bubble kid, but the kind of job your dad has simply doesn’t exist anymore,” Jackman tells Bart.
During the number, Lisa raps: “You’ll never have the life our flabby dad had, what can he do that a robot can’t?
“That job you see now needs a PhD / While paying student loans leaves you in poverty / No brand new car / No fancy house / No hot dinners cooked by your stay-at-home spouse / You’re gonna pinch every dollar and cent / And you’ll still have to choose between healthcare and rent,” the character continues.
Reich, who shared a clip of the episode, also gives a short history of the rising economic inequality in the US.
Here's a sneak peak of the episode. Be sure to tune in at 8pm ET/7pm CT/8pm PT this Sunday for the rest! pic.twitter.com/ziu7Mp6ef1
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) May 19, 2022
The song was in response to a 2021 article in The Atlantic titled ‘The Life In The Simpsons Is No Longer Attainable’, which argued that Homer’s job supporting a family on a working-class salary is an “almost dreamily secure existence that now seems out of reach for all too many Americans”.
Last year, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane expressed his regret over keeping the animated show on Fox due to Carlson’s involvement in Fox News.
“Tucker Carlson’s latest opinion piece once again makes me wish Family Guy was on any other network,” MacFarlane wrote on Twitter.
The network recently announced The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burger had all been renewed for additional seasons.