An episode of the long-running animated sitcom "The Simpsons" sparked controversy and criticism for its attempt to satirize "cancel culture" and its parody of what was widely interpreted to be the popular podcast hosted by Joe Rogan.
As described by entertainment news site Screenrant, in the episode, Homer Simpson gets "canceled" due to a series of mishaps and misunderstandings. But instead of pulling off deft social satire, "The Simpsons" offered up a "confused, messy" episode in the show's 33rd season, according to the website.
Both "The Simpsons" and Rogan's podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," are cultural fixtures. "The Simpsons" are so ingrained in American pop culture that it's a common internet trope for social media users to claim or imply that the show predicted various significant current events.
And Rogan's often-controversial podcast has a whopping viewership, with an estimated 11 million viewers per episode, so it was bound to be a news event when the two phenomena collided.
A screenshot from the episode titled "You Won't Believe What This Episode is About - Act Three Will Shock You!" circulated widely on social media and showed a character that resembled Rogan, along with a sign that read, "Right wing podcast house, pariahs welcome," as seen in the Reddit post below:
Here's how Screenrant reviewed the episode, which never mentions Rogan by name:
In “You Won't Believe What This Episode is About - Act Three Will Shock You!”” (season 33, episode 14), The Simpsons attempted to parody the phenomenon of “cancel culture” while also caricaturing podcast host Joe Rogan. However, the resulting episode’s message was muddled and contradictory, while any attempted satirical slam on Rogan was defanged by the plot of the outing itself. 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.