The Simpsons Go Blackface?: In Ad For Their African Edition, Homer, Marge, and the Kids MASSIVE FAIL.


The Simpsons is America’s longest-running sitcom, with 441 episodes shown since 1989. (Their 20th season begins next month.)

But for their upcoming debut on Africa’s digital satellite television service, DStv, an Angolan ad agency decided to give the saffron-colored family a “makeover.”

6a00d8358081ff69e2011570465543970c-800wiThose are the results, above, says the UK’s Telegraph: “Brown skin instead of their usual yellow,” right.

As the publication details:

To make them appear more like a typical Angolan family, Marge has also been given a black Afro hairstyle instead of normal blue bouffant, while Lisa’s hair is stood up on end in short braids.

The image also shows the family dressed in clothes bearing traditional African designs and they are all wearing flip flops.

To be clear, this change was not made to the actual animation, but to print advertising being shown in the broadcast area.

Will Angolans be offended? Actor Kirstie Alley once told me that African-Americans…are “more free and fun and light hearted” than white people. Did she mean Africans, too?

Let’s hope so, and let’s trust they won’t be put off, here, by dumb, cloying marketing at its worst, and, in so doing, avoid what’s still a very funny show.

China: You’re next.




#1 Lena L. West on 08.21.09 at 9:48 pm

As well, what’s up with the BOOM BOX SPEAKERS next to the family sofa. As if to imply that Africans only listen to music and don’t have a bookcases, phones or lamps — items that are seen in the original picture.

Ditto for the lopsided picture on the wall.

DStv and whomever is in charge of branding at The Simpsons get the gasface and the bozack.

#2 CDF on 08.31.09 at 10:09 pm

reminds me of those shirts from the ’90s during the afro-centric phase in hip-hop…

#3 Whne Giants Meet on 09.15.09 at 9:10 am

Not too sure how I feel about this. I might also be offended if they made them Latino.

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