FactCheck Social Media

“Simpsons” images of George Floyd are a tribute, not a prediction from a past show

2020-06-16 13:00:17

The Statement

As protests continue in the United States following the death in police custody of George Floyd, a trending Facebook post is claiming the Mr Floyd’s arrest was predicted by animated TV series The Simpsons.

A June 3 Facebook post includes two Simpsons-style animated images of Mr Floyd. 

The first image pictures Mr Floyd pinned down with the knee of Simpsons police officer Chief Wiggum on his neck while regular character Lisa Simpson holds up a sign reading “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE” in the background. 

The second image shows Mr Floyd as an angel with wings, with Lisa Simpson again holding the sign.

Text accompanying the post reads: “And again. Simpsons never seem to fail An episode from many years ago”. 

AAP FactCheck has found similar posts here, here, here and here. In total the posts have been viewed over 100,000 times and shared over 2000 times. 

Simpsons-style images of George Floyd
 A Facebook post showing Simpsons-style images of George Floyd is not from the TV series. 

The Analysis

Protests have taken place in many cities across the United States since the death of African American man George Floyd on May 25. 

A video showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee placed on Floyd’s neck while the former athlete told the officer he couldn’t breathe, has been shared around the world.

Two autopsies determined Mr Floyd’s death was a homicide

Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and moved to a maximum security prison

Multiple Facebook posts claim the Simpsons-style images of George Floyd being arrested come from an episode aired in the 1990’s or from the 1996 episode “The Day Violence Died”

However, the images are not from the Simpsons TV show. They were first published by Italian artist Yuri Pomo on his instagram account on May 30, 2020, (here and here) six days after Floyd’s death in police custody. 

The picture featuring Mr Floyd and Police Chief Wiggum is captioned: “Imagine you’re sat with you daughter/son watching the Simpsons, and all of a sudden this scene happens in the show…” 

The picture featuring Mr Floyd as an angel is captioned: “This is my way of honoring what’s right in this world, and I hope it’ll get to you as it’s supposed to do. RIP George…” 

Pomo is known for his renditions of famous people as Simpsons style characters, with past illustrations featuring US President Donald Trump, American rapper Tekashi 69 and Stranger Things actress Milly Bobby Brown

The Simpsons TV show has in the past accurately depicted future events, like Donald Trump’s presidency and the merger of Disney and Twentieth Century Fox

Minneapolis
 A social media claim that the death of George Floyd was foretold by TV show The Simpsons is wrong. 

The Verdict

AAP FactCheck confirmed the posts show cartoon images made by Italian artist Yuri Pomo following the death of George Floyd and do not come from the Simpsons TV show. The two images are a dedication to Mr Floyd, posted six days after he died in police custody on May 25, 2020.

False – The primary claims of the content are factually inaccurate. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated on June 16, 2020 to correct the final paragraph of The Analysis, which incorrectly stated that Disney merged with Warner Brothers. The Walt Disney Company finalised its acquisition of 21st Century Fox in March, 2019, in a merger agreement that combined Disney and Fox businesses including Twentieth Century Fox.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/