August 10, 2022

As if on cue for Women’s History Month, the legendary long-running animated sitcom The Simpsons is making history for female creatives. Variety reports that for the first time in the show’s storied history which dates back to its appearance on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, it will feature a creative team with women in the four highest animation roles. Jennifer Moeller will serve as director with Debbie Spafford as assistant director, Esther Lee as the lead timer for animation, and HeeJin Kim as the background layout lead. This historic episode will air on Sunday, March 13.

Titled “You Won’t Believe What This Episode Is About — Act Three Will Shock You!” the episode features a guest appearance from Kumail Nanjiani as the enigmatic Theo, a so-called expert from “The Institute” who helps rehabilitate the images of anyone “canceled” online, especially those that are victims of clickbait headlines. Homer finds himself in hot water when a social media website called NeighborHub uploads a video of Santa’s Little Helper locked in the Simpson family car on a hot day that goes viral. Despite his innocence, everyone blames Homer for putting his dog in danger thanks to the misleading footage. To restore his good name, Homer joins up with Theo and fellow disgraced citizens of Springfield including Helen Lovejoy, Kirk Van Houten, Larry Doogan, and Councilman Jed Hawk.


Variety also posted an exclusive clip from the episode which shows Homer and his fellow internet pariahs cleaning up litter below a nearby bridge, a task that still doesn’t keep the people of Springfield from mocking them. Theo teases some “radical” method to suddenly make everything right for them, but the group completely fails to pick up on his hinting that he wants them to go along with the plan. Before they can all leave, he gets fed up and explains that he merely said it was too radical in order to make them more intrigued. The word intrigued immediately gets everyone on board for whatever scheme Theo has in store, though we’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out what that is.

The Simpsons
Image via 20th Television

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Again, to drive home how incredible this is, it took 719 episodes across 33 years to have the first episode helmed by all-female leadership. It even features a writing credit for Christine Nangle, who seemed absolutely thrilled about the episode on Twitter. It’s always good to see more women taking higher roles in television and film, especially on a show that’s made its name as a cultural landmark like The Simpsons.

On another note, the episode will be the first appearance of Jay Pharoah as Springfield’s superstar boxer Drederick Tatum. The Mike Tyson-like Tatum was originally voiced by Hank Azaria, but the show has since put an end to white voice actors playing characters of color. Pharoah’s gotten more attention for his talent as of late, appearing in the recent animated hit feature The Mitchells vs the Machines and playing numerous roles on Family Guy, among other recent endeavors.

The Simpsons is produced by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox with James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, and Matt Selman on as executive producers. See the new, female creative-led episode on March 13!

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