Banksy creates controversial Simpsons sequence

Graffiti artist Banksy has created a controversial opening sequence for 'The Simpsons', which takes a dig at the show's owner, Twentieth Century Fox.

The Simpsons: subject of controversial Banksy opening sequence
The Simpsons: subject of controversial Banksy opening sequence

The episode, entitled ‘MoneyBart’, aired in the US on Sunday, with a scheduled UK showing of 21 October.

The sequence begins almost in the usual way, but with a few subtle changes. Banksy’s tag is spray-painted over Springfield and Bart’s face is covered with a handkerchief while he writes "I must not write all over the walls" across the blackboard.

After the Simpsons sit on their couch, normally signalling the start of the episode, the sequence pans in to a dark and dank factory, in which rows of people sit drawing the branded cartoon.

The audience then sees scenes of kittens being thrown into a wood-chipper to make stuffing for Bart Simpson dolls, and a unicorn’s horn being used to punch holes in Simpsons DVDs, while being chained to the wall.

Banksy’s sequence was apparently inspired by reports that the show outsources the bulk of its animation to a company in Seoul, South Korea.

Perhaps sensitive to the criticism, Twentieth Century Fox has sought to stop the sequence being seen on YouTube, submitting copyright claims to have videos taken down.

It is the first time that an artist has contributed to the show, al though British celebrities such as Ricky Gervais have appeared in it.

Al Jean, executive producer for 'The Simpsons', said: "This is what you get when you outsource."