Environment

Does "The Simpsons" Distort People's Views of Nuclear Power?

| by Nuclear Energy Institute

By David Bradish

I’ve watched ‘The Simpsons’ cartoon since their inception and have never been fazed about their misleading depictions of nuclear power. Interestingly enough, others may have. Here’s what a philosophy professor says about the show:

Dr. Bill Irwin, a philosophy professor at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., says Homer - the bumbling main character in The Simpsons who works at a nuclear power plant - has perhaps helped to put a negative spin on nuclear power by doing such things on the show as trying to stop a meltdown by randomly pressing buttons on a console.

He also points out that the owner of the nuclear power plant in The Simpsons, Mr. Burns, is portrayed as a cold-hearted, greedy industrialist. But the show's most intelligent character, Homer's daughter, Lisa, is portrayed as a staunch environmental advocate.

"She's very eco-friendly and very much against nuclear power and the nuclear power plant run by Mr. Burns," Irwin said during a recent interview on a Saskatchewan radio talk show.

Probably the reason why I’m not fazed about The Simpson's depictions is because I’ve seen them put a negative spin on other technologies such as wind. This episode between Itchy and Scratchy comes to mind.

It’s tough for me to say if they’ve negatively impacted perceptions of nuclear power. I would have to say no but check out the survey here to tell us your answer.