The Simpsons has been said to predict a number of things, from the Super Bowl (three times) to the building of the Shard in London. Well, according to fans it's done it again, this time predicting the row currently raging in Florida about whether or not Michelangelo's "David" is "pornographic".
Last week, Hope Carrasquilla, principal of Tallahassee Classical School, was forced to resign following a parent's complaint that the school had exposed children to pornography during an art lesson on the Renaissance era. During the lesson, children were shown famous artworks from the period including "David", Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus", prompting complaints from one parent that it was "pornographic". Two others complained that they hadn't been warned in advance of the "controversial" content of the lesson.
Thirty-three years earlier, an episode of The Simpsons titled Itchy & Scratchy & Marge showed a similar controversy around the statue. Marge forms a campaign group – Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping (SNUH) – to petition the creators of the cartoon Itchy & Scratchy to remove violence from their show. They do, ruining it and forcing the children to play outside instead.
Later, the statue of David comes to Springfield, and the other members of SNUH ask Marge to lead their protest "against this abomination" as it "graphically portrays parts of the human body which, practical as they may be, are evil".
Marge later appears on Smartline, where the topic is "is it a masterpiece or just some guy with his pants down?" Marge argues it's a masterpiece and urges the whole town to see it. When discussions go back to Itchy & Scratchy she concludes that "I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't" and gives up her own campaign against violence on TV.
The similarities between the two stories have been pointed out on social media.
Though labeled a "prediction" it's actually more of a "postdiction". The Simpsons is often satirical, enacting funny, sometimes outrageous but usually plausible scenarios that could happen in the US. With over 700 episodes, it's bound to get something right, and its huge fan base has an encyclopedic knowledge of the show, ready to spot any similarities that occur in real life, which can then be labeled a "prediction" post hoc.
The episode was also said to predict a previous row after a town in Russia voted on whether to cover up a copy of "David" after residents complained that it "spoils the city's historic appearance and warps children's souls".