'The Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean responds to viewers saying episode 'predicted' Russia-Ukraine crisis

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By Nika Shakhnazarova

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As all Simpsons fans know, the adult cartoon series has a mysterious tendency to predict the future.

Past episodes have foretold everything from Donald Trump's presidency to the global pandemic we now know as the coronavirus. The cartoon even predicted the tragic event of 9/11.

This week, many social media users are claiming that The Simpsons had predicted the Russia-Ukraine conflict back in March 1998.

One of the iconic show's episodes showed the Soviet Union didn't break up.

Watch a clip from the episode in question right here:

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/astianmi/status/1496704900599844864]] 

An episode named 'Simpson Tide', which aired more than three decades ago, showed Homer Simpson joining the US Navy and accidentally firing a sub captain out of a vessel into Russian waters.

Later, Russia reveals that the Soviet Union had never really disbanded as troops and tanks descended upon the streets, followed by the Berlin Wall being resurrected.

The episode also brings Lenin back to life. The Soviet Union premier breaks out of his glass coffin in the episode and says: "We must crush capitalism". The episode aired when Boris Yeltsin was Russia's president.

The Simpsons clip, which has since gone viral on social media, didn't go unnoticed by Al Jean, the showrunner of the hit series.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/AlJean/status/1496865285701210112]] 

He told The Hollywood Reporter that The Simpsons' long-running history of "predicting" such events is "sadly more the norm than it is the prediction".

"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," he said.

"I hate to say it, but I was born in 1961, so 30 years of my life were lived with the specter of the Soviet Union. So, to me, this is sadly more the norm than it is the prediction. We just figured things were going to go bad."

"Historical aggression never really goes away, and you have to be super vigilant," Jean added. "In 1998, when this clip aired, it was maybe the zenith of US-Russia relations. But, ever since [Russian president Vladimir] Putin got in, almost everybody has made it clear that he’s a bad guy and bad things are going to happen."

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Sipa US / Alamy]]

"There is the kind of prediction, where we reference something that has happened, happening again — we hope it wouldn’t, but sadly, it does," he added.

This week, Vladimir Putin announced that his "special military operation" is underway, as Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military said Russia has already moved more than 60 battalion tactical groups across the border – each with roughly 700-900 troops.

Featured image credit: AF archive / Alamy

'The Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean responds to viewers saying episode 'predicted' Russia-Ukraine crisis

vt-author-image

By Nika Shakhnazarova

Article saved!Article saved!

As all Simpsons fans know, the adult cartoon series has a mysterious tendency to predict the future.

Past episodes have foretold everything from Donald Trump's presidency to the global pandemic we now know as the coronavirus. The cartoon even predicted the tragic event of 9/11.

This week, many social media users are claiming that The Simpsons had predicted the Russia-Ukraine conflict back in March 1998.

One of the iconic show's episodes showed the Soviet Union didn't break up.

Watch a clip from the episode in question right here:

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/astianmi/status/1496704900599844864]] 

An episode named 'Simpson Tide', which aired more than three decades ago, showed Homer Simpson joining the US Navy and accidentally firing a sub captain out of a vessel into Russian waters.

Later, Russia reveals that the Soviet Union had never really disbanded as troops and tanks descended upon the streets, followed by the Berlin Wall being resurrected.

The episode also brings Lenin back to life. The Soviet Union premier breaks out of his glass coffin in the episode and says: "We must crush capitalism". The episode aired when Boris Yeltsin was Russia's president.

The Simpsons clip, which has since gone viral on social media, didn't go unnoticed by Al Jean, the showrunner of the hit series.

[[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/AlJean/status/1496865285701210112]] 

He told The Hollywood Reporter that The Simpsons' long-running history of "predicting" such events is "sadly more the norm than it is the prediction".

"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," he said.

"I hate to say it, but I was born in 1961, so 30 years of my life were lived with the specter of the Soviet Union. So, to me, this is sadly more the norm than it is the prediction. We just figured things were going to go bad."

"Historical aggression never really goes away, and you have to be super vigilant," Jean added. "In 1998, when this clip aired, it was maybe the zenith of US-Russia relations. But, ever since [Russian president Vladimir] Putin got in, almost everybody has made it clear that he’s a bad guy and bad things are going to happen."

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Sipa US / Alamy]]

"There is the kind of prediction, where we reference something that has happened, happening again — we hope it wouldn’t, but sadly, it does," he added.

This week, Vladimir Putin announced that his "special military operation" is underway, as Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military said Russia has already moved more than 60 battalion tactical groups across the border – each with roughly 700-900 troops.

Featured image credit: AF archive / Alamy