Smithers Will Come Out in Simpsons Season 27
In a move that will shock no-one, popular Simpsons‘ character Waylon Smithers will come out to his boss Mr Burns in the show’s anticipated 27th season.
Producer Al Jean announced the character’s voyage for self-acceptance as a major theme in the upcoming season with his coming out a method for doing this – though we imagine many Simpsonians will not be surprised by the big reveal.
Jean told TVLine: “In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t.”
He continued: “We deal with that in two episodes. We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”
The show has dropped hints about Smithers’ sexuality throughout the seasons: He hangs out in the gay part of town and has vacationed at an all-male resort and – according to the Simpsons Wiki – there is an implied romantic relationship between Smithers and a male shop owner.
Smithers’ defining characteristic, however, is his utter infatuation with Mr. Burns, as depicted in elaborate fantasy sequences. In an episode in which residents of Springfield are facing the end of the world, Smithers even kisses Burns, though it’s explained away when the Earth keeps spinning.
So, undoubtedly, the announcement will change the dynamic of the long-running gag on the show surrounding Smithers’ sexuality and his unrequited love for his elderly boss. However, he will not be the first Simpsons character to come out, as Marge’s sister Patty and Duffman have both revealed their sexualities in the past.
Most notably the news comes following fan relief earlier this year, when Smithers and Mr Burns voice actor Harry Shearer signed a new deal after previously announcing his departure from the cartoon, and suggests a new direction for the pair in the show’s immediate future.
The Simpsons returned to screens in the US on September 27th and will appear on UK television towards the end of 2015.