Donald Trump has tested positive for COVID-19, just as The Simpsons predicted?
OK, only half of that sentence is true. The president and First Lady Melania have contracted the coronavirus — after months of saying it would “disappear” and that “it affects virtually nobody” and generally downplaying a pandemic that has killed over one million people and 203,000 Americans, including Trump rally-attender Herman Cain. But The Simpsons did not foresee it happening, despite the image that you’ve probably seen on Twitter, the one of Trump’s lifeless body in a coffin. Simpsons did it? It did not.
As backed by Snopes (and confirmed by any halfway-informed Simpsons fan), that image is a fake. It’s not from an episode or even one of the web shorts with Dan Castellaneta as the voice of the president. The image “first appeared in a thread on a 4chan.org forum,” because of course it did, and has been around since early 2017:
The image was frequently shared along with messages stating that The Simpsons were foretelling President Trump’s death, since the show has reportedly predicted so many other major events: “The Simpsons have shown impressive ability to predict the future, we have witnessed horrifying events that have come true and that without doubt have passed into history… Recently, The Simpsons have brought to light a new prediction that could undoubtedly mark the world and Is the death of the current president.”
The Simpsons did accurately predict that Trump would become president, but the long-running animated series did not anticipate September 11 or, uh, the coronavirus. As writer Bill Oakley told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, “I don’t like [The Simpsons] being used for nefarious purposes. The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia, I think that is gross.” The Disney-Fox thing, though? That’s a real one.