False rumors that “The Simpsons” predicted the death of Queen Elizabeth II are going viral.
Users are sharing a doctored image that shows a cartoon of the Queen in a coffin.
Controversial hoaxes claimed by the show have predicted that global news events will continue to go viral online.
False rumors that “The Simpsons” predicted the death of Queen Elizabeth II have gone viral on TikTok, the latest hoax in a series of false claims about the show’s prescience.
It is based on a doctored image showing a cartoon version of the queen seen lying in a coffin. A cartoon plaque above the body in the image reads, “Elizabeth II 1926-2022.”
Since the Queen’s death on September 8, videos containing the image on TikTok have received millions of combined views, usually with captions saying, “The Simpsons predicted Queen Elizabeth’s death.”
But the scene was never part of the show, and appears to be another example of people exaggerating the ability of “The Simpsons” to “predict” the future, a controversial online practice that goes back years.
The image never went viral on the show
The most viral video of the image was posted on September 14 and has 23 million views. It shows a short clip from season 15, episode three of the show, titled “The Regina Monologues,” which first aired in 2003 and featured Queen Elizabeth II putting the show’s main character, Homer, on trial after crashes into her carriage with her. car.
In the TikTok version, a small label can be seen on the wall behind the animated Queen, with the date “8.9.2022” on it, like a reference to the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. This label does not appear behind the Queen in the original episode. The TikTok then cut to reveal a doctored image of the cartoon Queen lying in a coffin, which is also not in the original episode.
Fact-checking website Misbar said the image was a variation on an animated image of Donald Trump in a coffin, which went viral on Twitter in 2020. The Independent reported that online users claimed the image showed “The Simpsons” predicted the former. The President of the United States would die in the following months, but a scene depicting Trump’s death was not seen on the show.
The doctored image of Queen Elizabeth II that has been circulating for the past few days appears to use the same coffin background from the fake image showing Trump’s death, with a superimposed image of the animated Queen on top.
Some TikTok users have tried to debunk the claims about the image by showing unedited footage from the original incident, but Insider couldn’t find any with the same level of virality as the ones that spread the information wrong.
Controversial images falsely claiming ‘The Simpsons’ global news events have gone viral before
During its 34-season run, “The Simpsons” is famous for “predicting” the future, with many fans of the show pointing out that various events shown in the show happen in real life years later.
As Insider previously reported, the 2005 episode featured the character Ned Flanders traveling to Canada and discovering that Cannabis was legal there, 13 years before the country legalized the recreational use of marijuana. A 2000 episode of the show referenced Donald Trump becoming president, 16 years before he was elected to office.
But as this reputation grew, so did widespread misinformation.
Fact-checking website Snopes has reported that social media users have falsely claimed that “The Simpsons” predicted the 2019 fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in France, and the 2020 deadly explosion in Beirut.
Some of the hoaxes received an intense backlash for misleading people on very controversial or significant news events. Snopes reported in June 2020, claims that “The Simpsons” predicted the death of George Floyd, an event that sparked public outrage against the police system and sparked a renewed wave of Black Lives Matter protests around the world, on Twitter .
Different news and Fact-checking outlets debunked the claims, saying the image was not taken from an actual episode of the show, and some users criticism people spread the hoax to make light of the event.
Publicity representatives for “The Simpsons” declined Insider’s request for comment.
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