After a staggering 30 years on television, beloved adult animated series The Simpsons is retiring the running gag that has had viewers in a chokehold since its debut. Going forward, Homer Simpson will no longer be wrapping his fingers around his mischievous son’s neck. Instead, they’ll be securely clutching the black leather of his belt as he beats Bart senseless.
“I’m happy to move on,” said Matt Selman, showrunner of The Simpsons. “Homer strangling Bart — this was an adequate way to discipline children back in the 90s. But that simply isn’t enough anymore. Kids today are always on their damn phones. It takes a more deliberate beating with lasting bruises to get them to listen up.”
In a recently aired episode, Marge remarks how proud she is of Homer for no longer strangling the boy. This occurs during a conversation in which she gifts her husband a new belt without blood on it.
“We’re okay changing with the times,” stated Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson for 35 seasons. “A few years back, we got called out for having a white man voice the Indian immigrant storeowner, Apu. Now, my colleague Hank Azaria is more than happy to rectify that situation by recording all his lines in brownface. Standards evolve and people can too.”
At press time, the official The Simpsons Twitter account tweeted a post encouraging artists drawing incestual fanart to only depict choking among the family members as consensual.