Screen Rant: Why The Simpsons Never Made Their Lost Scientology Parody Episode

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, May 25, 2021.

  1. Screen Rant: Why The Simpsons Never Made Their Lost Scientology Parody Episode

    Why did The Simpsons veto an apparently funny episode spoofing Scientology when South Park was willing to take on the controversial institution?


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    Why The Episode Was Never Produced

    This Simpsons storyline may have been dropped to avoid offending Bart Simpson’s voice actor Nancy Cartwright, who is a prominent defender of Scientology alongside Invisible Man star Elizabeth Moss, John Travolta, and Mission Impossible series star Tom Cruise. According to Oakley, the writer said the episode was never made to avoid legal ramifications. Interestingly, Oakley avoided even mentioning the specifics of “Lisa The Scientopteran,” saying: “I can't reveal the subject matter here but we never went forward with it because of 1, legal ramifications, and 2, the fact that at least a couple of people on the staff/cast would've felt personally attacked by the episode and we just didn't want to deal with the fallout.“


    How “Lisa The Scientopteran” Still Influenced The Simpsons

    In the years since the episode was vetoed, the story of the family becoming caught up in a cult was revisited in “The Joy of Sect” (season 9, episode 13) and Lisa converting to another religion when disillusioned with Christianity was revisited in “She of Little Faith” (season 13, episode 6), one of many The Simpsons Christmas specials. Although the latter episode features some still-sharp jabs on the phenomenon of for-profit megachurches, the former is a more pointed parody of cults and the writers have acknowledged the fact that Scientology influenced their depiction of the Movementarians. Perhaps to avoid litigation, the crew were quick to add that Jim Jones and the People’s Temple were also inspirations for this classic The Simpsons outing, ensuring that the show credited its inspiration for the plot to incidents that are uncontested examples of a dangerous cult, rather than only the Church of Scientology.

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