An episode of The Simpsons during which Homer faces up to his own homophobia was nearly pulled by Fox due to it containing gay content.
The Emmy and GLAAD Award winning episode ‘Homer’s Phobia’ was nearly pulled before it aired in 1997 by Fox.
During the episode, Homer makes friends with a gay character voiced by filmmaker John Waters.
He expresses fears that him being friends with the man might turn son Bart gay, but the episode ends with him embracing the character.
Former showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein said in a new interview with The Ringer that the episode was nearly pulled due to the content.
They say that a censor at Fox Broadcasting, gave extensive, and unusual feedback.
The pair say that the censors normally gave minimal feedback, but for Homer’s Phobia, “every single thing in the episode that had to do with being gay or the word ‘gay'” received feedback.
The final line of the feedback sheet, which took up three pages, was: “The entire subject and content of this episode is unacceptable for air.”
But the pair say in the interview that despite them not “wanting anything to do with” the episode, they took a gamble and went ahead with production anyway.
After a new censor was brought in, the episode was eventually deemed “acceptable for broadcast”.
Last year, after a long wait, Smithers came out as gay on an episode of the show.