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The Simpsons fans have criticised a recent episode of the long-running cartoon for a storyline featuring a Joe Rogan-like character.
Although the controversial podcaster is never explicitly named, his character is parodied in season 33, episode 14, which sees Homer being ‘cancelled’ for leaving the family dog Santa’s Little Helper in a hot car.
When Homer has nowhere left to go, he visits a ‘right wing podcast’ host - who bears a striking resemblance to Rogan - and is given a chance to tell his side of the story when no one else will.
Per the official synopsis: "A series of unfortunate events make it look like Homer intentionally shut Santa's Little Helper in the car on a hot day, then get worse when he accidentally knocks Reverend Lovejoy out of the church window.
"Videos of the incidents go viral online and the world turns on Homer, only for a mysterious man named Theo to approach him with a radical offer to repair Homer's reputation."
Critics have hit back at the creators of the show, with Screenrant writer Cathal Gunning describing the episode - titled ‘You Won't Believe What This Episode is About: Act Three Will Shock You!’ - as ‘bizarrely misguided’.
"Far from taking Rogan down a notch or offering any meaningful commentary on cancel culture, The Simpsons season 33 episode proved a profound failure with an indecipherable message and self-defeating execution," he wrote.
Nathan Kamal, author for Giant Freakin Robot, added to the conversation, writing: "It seems like the producers of the show are aware of the concept of people being publicly shamed, and felt they needed to weigh in, but ultimately they did not really have anything to say."
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Rogan saga, his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience has been mired in controversy lately after receiving criticism about some of the topics he discusses on the show.
The UFC commentator was accused of providing an incredibly large platform to people who espouse 'Covid-19 or vaccine misinformation'.
Although he defended his choice of guests, the pressure on him increased after a compilation of clips emerged, showing him using the N-word 24 times.
Despite a number of music artists asking to have their music removed from Spotify in protest of his podcast, the platform seems keen to keep hold of Rogan, with CEO Daniel Ek making it clear he doesn't want to part ways.
In a message to employees, he said: "While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realise some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer."
He added that he was 'deeply sorry' for the impact the controversy was having on Spotify's workforce, continuing: "We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but cancelling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress."
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