Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Odd Reason Matt Groening Had To Apologize For The Simpsons

"The Simpsons" has raised more than its share of people's hackles over the years. That is probably inevitable when your show has been on the air for more than three decades. Some of the more recent umbrage, such as that which sprung up around the character of Apu, have tapped into legitimate debates about race, nationality, and representation in the entertainment industry. Others, like when then-president George H.W. Bush declared that he wanted American families to "be a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons," are little more than public figures grasping for talking points. (Little wonder then that the show had such a longstanding feud with the Bushes.)

Then there are those times when the show manages to get folks' hackles up in such an absurd way that you can't help but laugh. In 2019, the New York State Fair offered writers of "The Simpsons" free admission after an episode portrayed the region of Upstate New York in a less than flattering fashion (via Syracuse.com). It's also worth remembering that these kind of odd moments aren't unique to "The Simpsons." Fans of "American Horror Story" no doubt remember when Season 4's Twisty the Clown (John Carroll Lynch) earned the ire of Clowns of America International.

But there's one episode, one of the most legendary and well-known episodes of "The Simpsons," that prompted an especially notable apology from creator Matt Groening.

Matt Groening apologized to the Monorail Society

Speaking to theĀ BBC in 2021, Groening was told that the Monorail Society, a public advocacy group with over 14,000 members, is on record denouncing "Marge vs. the Monorail" as detrimental to the public perception of monorail systems. "I don't know what to say, I'm sorry," Groening responded. "That's a by-product of our viciousness.

It all goes back to Season 4, Episode 12, in which fast-talking flim-flam man Lyle Lanley (Phil Hartman) cons the city of Springfield into plowing its budget surplus into a faulty monorail system. "Marge vs. the Monorail" is consistently ranked among the absolute best episodes of "The Simpsons." As recently as 2014 the episode's author, one Conan O'Brien, told BuzzFeed that people still come up to him wanting to talk not about his late-night shows, but about "Marge vs. the Monorail."

Groening, ever the environmentalist (via Variety), responded to the BBC that he actually liked monorail systems. "You're up off the ground and you're above traffic. Monorails are great," he said. Very much in line with the Monorail Society's original statement, which states that as the world's consumption of fossil fuels continues to contribute to global warming, and as traffic congestion affects economies, "we need more green, electric, automated, elevated transportation systems such as monorail, and they need to be represented fairly on television and in the media."

Whatever guys. Tell it to the people of North Haverbrook.