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The Simpsons Showrunner Says It’s ‘Very Sad’ Russian Invasion Was ‘Not Hard To Predict’

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The Simpsons Showrunner Says It’s ‘Very Sad’ Russian Invasion Was ‘Not Hard To Predict’

Al Jean, showrunner on The Simpsons, has said Russia's invasion of Ukraine was 'not hard to predict' after a storyline which featured on the show more than two decades ago came to life.

The Simpsons is known to have seemingly predicted a range of real-life events throughout its lengthy history on television, but it's safe to say Russia launching an attack on Ukraine is one that everyone would have preferred to stay fictional.

Unfortunately, the storyline from the 1998 episode Simpson Tide somewhat reflected events which unfolded in Russia and Ukraine this week, when Vladimir Putin announced a full-scale invasion on the neighbouring country.

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See the clip below:

Where events such as the invention of FaceTime and the activism of Greta Thunberg may have been more difficult to see in a crystal ball, Jean implied that Russia launching an attack was not difficult to see coming during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

He said: 'In terms of predictions, there are two kinds we have: The trivial, like Don Mattingly getting in trouble for his hair in Homer at the Bat, and then there are predictions like this.'

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The showrunner explained he was born in 1961, so '30 years of [his] life were lived with the specter of the Soviet Union.'

He continued: 'So, to me, this is sadly more the norm than it is a prediction. We just figured things were going to go bad.'

Following Putin's announcement, social media users have been sharing the episode in which Homer unintentionally fires the sub captain out of the vessel into Russian waters, after which Russia reveals the Soviet Union never truly dissolved, and the military descends upon the streets.

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Jean said the storyline is now 'very sad', and as he reflected on the creation of the clip the showrunner stressed the need to be 'super vigilant' as 'historical aggression never really goes away'.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin (Alamy)
Russian leader Vladimir Putin (Alamy)

He said: 'In 1998, when this clip aired, it was maybe the zenith of US-Russia relations. But ever since Putin got in, almost everybody has made it clear that he’s a bad guy and bad things are going to happen. There is the kind of prediction, where we reference something that has happened, happening again — we hope it wouldn’t, but sadly, it does.'

With the 33rd season of the beloved animated show currently underway, Jean said that while The Simpsons will likely address how the world is changing, viewers shouldn’t expect a specific reference to the conflict between the two countries.

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If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Fox/Alamy

Topics: Film & TV, Ukraine, Russia, Vladimir Putin, The Simpsons, Film and TV

Emily Brown
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