Waylon Smithers, Jr., known simply as Smithers in The Simpsons, will finally be coming out as gay, as said by the show’s executive producer, Al Jean.
Smithers has been serving as Mr. Burns’ ever-trusty personal assistant since the first season of The Simpsons. Since Mr. Burns is the owner of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and lives in a mansion, he is often seen with Smithers by his side, ready for any request Mr. Burns might have.
Throughout the years, it has been evident that Smithers is gay, and most of the Springfield residents already know this. However, Smithers has never officially come out of the closet. All that is about to change, Al Jean confirmed to TV Line.
“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t. 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 website Simpson Crazy has a section that asks whether Waylon Smithers is gay. The page has a compilation of some references from the show hinting at Smithers’ sexual orientation. Here are some of the entries.
“After Bart replaces the head of the Jebediah Springfield statue, Mr. Burns is overcome with emotion, and tells Smithers that he loves him. Smithers replies, ‘The feeling is more than mutual.'”
“Smithers turns on his computer to print some information for Lisa. A half-naked image of Burns appears on screen, with some spliced sound bites saying, ‘Hello. Smithers. You’re. Quite. Good. At. Turning. Me. On.'”
“In Homer’s flashback, a young Smithers commentates on the gymnastics. He says excitedly, ‘Well, that’s the end of the girls’ floor exercises, now let’s bring on the men!'”
— The Independent (@Independent) September 28, 2015
— HuffPost UK Ent (@HuffPostUKEnt) September 28, 2015
Throughout the seasons of The Simpsons, Smithers’ affections towards the opposite sex gravitates towards Mr. Burns. According to reports, the idea of giving Smithers an ambiguous sexual orientation came from Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons. And though signs of Smithers being gay are evident, the show’s producers say that he is instead “Burns-sexual.”
Longtime fans of The Simpsons were happy to know that Smithers will be returning to the show for its 27th season. As Pink News reported in July, Smithers’ voice actor Harry Shearer signed a last-minute deal to continue working on the animated series. Shearer previously opened up about leaving The Simpsons after 26 seasons, but fortunately, that changed. Losing Shearer would have a big impact on the show, as he does not only voice Smithers. He also voices other characters including Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Doctor Hibert, Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy, and others.
Smithers will not be the first character in The Simpsons to come out as gay. In 2005, one of Marge’s sisters, Patty, came out as a lesbian. Another character who came out as gay in 2008 is Duffman.
Aside from the storyline of Smithers coming out as gay, Al Jean also shared other tidbits that can be expected from the 27th season of The Simpsons.
One of the storylines, which is said to be aired on the show’s finale next year, deals with Marge spending time in the slammer for letting Bart play in the park alone. According to Jean, the storyline was inspired by a column written by Tuesday’s with Morrie writer Mitch Albom.
Another revelation is Apu’s nephew, Jamshed, taking over the Kwik-E-Mart because of Apu’s rocky relationship with his brother Sanjay.
The Simpsons airs Sundays on FOX.
[Image via Wikipedia/Syracuse]