The Simpsons appeared to mock comedian Joe Rogan in the long-running show’s latest episode, in which Homer meets a character resembling the podcaster.
The series’ newest episode, ‘You Won’t Believe What This Episode is About – Act Three Will Shock You!’, sees Homer Simpson “cancelled” for neglecting the family’s dog, Santa’s Little Helper, before accidentally knocking Reverend Lovejoy out of a church window.
Although not mentioned by name, the bald podcaster character who appears later in the episode has been interpreted by several viewers as representing Rogan.
Reaction to the episode, largely based on news reports of the brief clip which features the Rogan lookalike, has been largely negative on social media. Twitter users joked about the presenter’s drug use, questioned his status as a “right-wing podcaster”, and suggested The Simpsons tackled the same subject more effectively on 1994 episode ‘Homer Badman’.
Joe Rogan will hear about this but he'll be high and forget then think he had a dream where he was on the simpsons https://t.co/3FjSmy1Yop
— Andy (@HailGribble4Lyf) March 15, 2022
I'm not even a Joe Rogan hater but there's no clearer sign that The Simpsons needs to end their run. https://t.co/H1xHfuQ2lu
— Hei Lun Chan (@heilun_chan) March 15, 2022
The Simpsons actually did a much better cancel culture episode decades ago. Watch "Homer Badman". The Simpsons was a great show, but it should have ended years ago. Futurama should have stayed on.#TheSimpsons #JoeRoganExperience #CancelCulturehttps://t.co/pUqUWJwLSO
— Cato the Elder (@Comicbo67136548) March 16, 2022
Spotify, the streaming platform with which Rogan has a lucrative podcast exclusivity deal, reportedly removed up to 70 old episodes that contained occasions where the N-word was said on his podcast, with several musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, removing their music from the platform in protest.
Last month, the host of The Joe Rogan Experience apologised for his past use of the word, saying it was “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve had to talk about publicly,” before going on to say that the compilation shared by India.Aria was made up of clips “taken out of context of twelve years of conversations on my podcast”.
Rogan added: “I know that to most people, there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that. Now, I haven’t said it in years.”
Other figures from the entertainment world criticised Rogan including Samuel L. Jackson, who said “it’s not the context” but the fact that the podcaster “was comfortable doing it” in the first place.
The episode, titled ‘Simpson Tide’ which aired in March 1998, saw Homer Simpson join the US Navy and accidentally fire his captain into Russian waters.
After the clip was shared widely on social media following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s orders to attack Ukraine, Al Jean responded to The Hollywood Reporter, describing the prediction as “sadly more the norm”.