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Published in: January-February 2022 issue.


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Smithers Smitten  An episode of The Simpsons that aired at press time finds a lonely Waylon Smithers longing for and

then finding a boyfriend, with Homer acting as the proud matchmaker! And the bf is the super-rich and debonair fashion designer Michael DeGraff. Everything seems to be going so well as the billionaire wines and dines the smitten Smithers on moonlit patios. But just when it seems DeGraff will whisk Smithers away for good, we learn that he’s moved his factory to Springfield—and it’s a toxic sweatshop that’s literally killing the workers and everything else in town. Yikes! Waylon will have to break it off and return to his job with Montgomery Burns. What’s fascinating is the town’s reaction to the news that DeGraff is a louse. “Wait, I thought they were supposed to be better than us!” exclaims Homer. Marge and others join the chorus of astonishment that a gay man could be evil. So, this is the popular image of LGBT people in these times (at least in Simpsons-land)? Who knew? Perhaps it’s part of a general sense that straight white men have made such a hash of things, everyone else is virtuous by comparison. At any rate, Smithers returns to his old life, but the Circle is not completely Demonic: he ends up gaining an adorable puppy who will “love him unconditionally.”