Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson appeared in short segments of Fox’s The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987 and got their own series roughly two years later. By now, the series has sunk its roots so deep into the popular imagination that we tend to forget it was once considered déclassé, maybe even dangerous. Twenty years ago, Evangelists and politicians denounced The Simpsons as a televised toxin that weakened parental authority and coarsened the culture. Oblivious to the love that Homer, Marge, and the kids showed for one another, they blasted the clan as a disgusting, dysfunctional unit that was unfit to anchor a prime-time cartoon. During his 1992 reelection campaign, President George H. W. Bush even pledged to help U.S. families be “a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons.”
You can read the rest of Matt's article here at New York Magazine.
Matt Zoller Seitz is publisher of Press Play and TV critic for New York Magazine.
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