The Simpsons season 30 is marketing itself using Troy McClure – despite the character having been retired decades ago following the death of voice actor Phil Hartman. The longest-running scripted TV show ever, The Simpsons shows no sign of slowing down (even if many fans wish it would).
Neither, it seems, does the controversy that comes with it. From the very start, The Simpsons was a headline-making show, with Bart’s crude antics deemed unsuitable back in the 1990s by everybody all the way up to then-President George Bush. Nowadays, the controversy is a bit more nuanced, with the recent Apu blowback questioning the negative side of the show’s enduring impact. It’s an example of how being continuously on the air for so long creates problems that would be otherwise imperceptible. One recent decision, however, seems to be a bit more conscious.