Graffiti artist Banksy has sparked controversy by creating a new title sequence for The Simpsons.
The elusive Bristolian left his own satirical stamp on the streets of Springfield with a lengthy introduction which features his name tag sprayed across a billboard of Krusty the Clown advertising a funeral service and the school wall.
Bart Simpson is seen performing his usual punishment of writing lines on the school blackboard but this time he is wearing a mask and noting down “I must not write all over the walls” which covers the whole classroom.
The title sequence takes a darker turn when the famous family reach their sofa and the action switches to a nightmarish Asian sweatshop where workers are forced to manufacture Simpsons merchandise in prison conditions.
More ghoulish deeds are performed in the minute-long extended sequence as kittens are shown being thrown into a wood chipper in order to produce stuffing for Bart Simpson dolls and a panda is employed to haul the goods.
A dolphin head is used to seal boxes, while a chained unicorn has its horn used for punching holes in the centre of Simpsons DVDs at the start of the MoneyBart episode which will be shown in Britain on October 21st.
The BBC reported that Banksy decided to create such a subversive introduction after learning that the show outsources the majority of their animation workload to a company in South Korea. Banksy said that his controversial storyboard resulted in delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a potential walk out by the animation department of the long running cartoon.
Al Jean, The Simpsons executive producer, joshed: “This is what you get when you outsource.”
The street artist’s ubiquitous rat and crow characters, which feature on several Banksy prints, also appear in the introduction. Banksy became on of Twitter’s most talked about people thanks to microbloggers using the social networking site to discuss the opening sequence. The Independent reported one Twitter user as saying: “Wow, tonight’s Simpsons couch gag was done by Banksy, and somehow, Fox approved it.”
Jessica Wood, publicist for the Art of Giving exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, told the London Evening Standard that she saw Banksy restoring his Gangsta Rat piece which was being sold by Moorfields Eye Hospital to raise money. She said: “This guy took it down the staircase and broke it out of the frame. I said, What are you doing?’ He just fired off expletives, though he apologised later. It was Banksy removing graffiti from the top of it.”
Gangsta Rat fetched 30,000 pounds which will go towards researching various eye diseases.