Horned man who breached US Capitol was not predicted by The Simpsons - fact check

"We did not create that image. It was created by the internet."
"We did not create that image. It was created by the internet." Photo credit: Getty / Facebook

Social media users have been sharing an image of one of the protesters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 - a man with a painted face wearing fur and horns - alongside what appears to be a cartoon version of the man dressed in a similar outfit.

The users say that the cartoon is a character from The Simpsons - suggesting that the hit TV show somehow foresaw the events in the US Capitol. This claim is false, likely a joke. The cartoon image has been doctored.

One image includes the text "Definitely not staged if the Simpsons predicted it..." and another "The Simpsons did it again ...." 

The cartoon appears to be a doctored image of Simpsons character 'Groundskeeper Willie', edited to resemble the Trump supporter.

Media outlets including AZ Central and Mashable have identified the horned man at the Capitol protests as Jake Angeli. According to AZ Central, he has been a "fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year".

The Simpsons show producers told Reuters via email: "We did not create that image. It was created by the internet."

The show did air an episode called 'Treehouse of Horror XXXI' on November 1, 2020, which addresses the 2020 Presidential election. In the opening segment, the main character Homer forgets to vote in the election, and the next scene shows the city in chaos on January 20, 2021.

Reuters Fact Check has previously debunked the claim that a 1993 episode of the show predicted the COVID-19 outbreak.

Verdict

False. The Simpsons show did not create the character in the image of a protester at the Capitol.

Reuters