Taika Waititi's Simpsons cameo declared 'cringeworthy misstep' by ScreenRant

Taika Waititi has appeared as himself on the latest episode of The Simpsons - but his cameo has come under fire from one US website which said it reinforced the "perception of him being self-indulgent and self-congratulatory".

Waititi appeared in the episode 'Murder, She Boat' a spoof of the '80s detective series Murder, She Wrote with Angela Lansbury.

In the episode, Lisa investigates a murder mystery onboard a "nerd cruise" ship, where Waititi is a guest. When Comic Book Guy's toy is stolen, a fictionalised version of Waititi springs into action to help her look into the crime, with Lisa bemused he is willing to help.

Starstruck, Lisa tells Waititi she "loves everything you do" and says he is "by far" her favourite on-screen Hitler. Responding, Waititi says he'll help with the case because he "has a medical condition where I have to be multi-tasking at all times".

The humour was well-received by fans of The Simpsons, with some taking to X (formerly Twitter) to praise it.

"A great episode for The Simpsons 34th Birthday/Anniversary! I enjoyed it very much! Looking forward to next week!" one wrote.

"I love Taika. That was a fun episode," another wrote.

But while fans of the show were impressed by Waititi's appearance alongside Springfield's finest, ScreenRant, a major US film website, said the cameo "did nothing to disprove the perception that his work is self-indulgent, smug and self-congratulatory". 

The site's Cathal Gunning also said the "director's cameo ended up feeling like a cringeworthy misstep" along with a claim there is a backlash against Waititi for his recent run of films.

Waititi's latest Next Goal Wins topped the New Zealand box office but has a 43 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, based on 125 reviews. However, the film has netted an 83 percent approval from audiences, based on over 100 verified reviews.

In June, Thor star Chris Hemsworth said he thought Waititi's more comedic take on the Marvel superhero may have gotten "too silly".

He made the comment in an interview with GQ magazine, saying on reflection Thor: Love and Thunder may have crossed a line.