After spending 27 years barely concealed in his glass closet, Springfield's Waylon Smithers finally came out as gay in Sunday's episode of The Simpsons, "The Burns Cage," and he isn't the only one celebrating.
The episode was three years in the making and, as it turns out, was penned by the show's writer, Rob LaZebnik, as a means of showing support for his gay son, 21-year-old Johnny. Talking to the New York Post last September he said:
“I am a Midwestern guy, so I don’t tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I thought, ‘What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?’"
Though thankfully Johnny doesn't require an iconic cartoon character to prove his father's love, he's nonetheless appreciative of the tribute.
“The revelation that my father loves me is not much of a revelation, thankfully. He’s unbelievably accepting. We’re as close as a straight dad and a gay son could be.”
In the episode, Smithers — voiced by Harry Shearer — finally realizes the love he feels for his boss, Mr. Burns, will never be reciprocated and moves on to find other romantic matches with Homer as his wingman.
According to Johnny, LaZebnik used him as a constant referral to ensure the moment, which was low-key rather than a big "I'm out," was as endearing as it was current. He said:
“I was really happy that someone who has experience with a gay person in their immediate family was writing the script.”
“He once sent me an email, and the header was just ‘How does Grindr work?’ I screenshotted and Instagrammed it and sent it to all my gay friends because it made me laugh so much.”
Of course, the episode didn't come as a shock to most Simpson's fans — after all, this is the Smithers who privately grinned after sharing a lil pash with Moe in the episode,"Flaming Moe," and was once spotted in a tank and rainbow shorts in Springfield's gay district.
What did you make of Smithers' revelation?
Source: NY Post