If you pay attention to the steady stream of rumors that “The Simpsons” has predicted real-world events, you might get the impression that the Fox Broadcasting Company employs fortune tellers and time-travelers to pen the long-running animated show. However, many of these rumors have a pretty simple explanation: The show was spoofing a previous event, not predicting one that had yet to occur.
That was the case in June 2017 when an image purportedly comparing a screenshot from a 15-year-old episode of “The Simpsons” with a May 2017 photograph of President Trump touching a glowing orb was shared thousands of times on Facebook:
This Simpsons cartoon aired 15 years ago in 2002 the actual photo was taken last month…somebody explain this shit to me.
Both “The Simpsons” screenshot and the photograph of Trump touching a glowing orb are authentic, but the Facebook post gets the timeline wrong.
The photograph shows President Trump, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at the inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May 2017.
However, “The Simpsons” image is not from a 2002 episode; rather, the screenshot comes from a short video posted to “The Simpsons” Facebook page on 26 May 2017 — after Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The “picture” can be seen on a wall leading up to the office of Vice President Mike Pence at the 6 second mark of the following video:
Burton, Bonnie. “‘The Simpsons’ Pokes Fun at Trump with ‘125 Days’ Video.”
CNET. 26 May 2017.