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The Simpsons Say Sorry
April 16, 2002, By Hello!

The executive producer of animated hit The Simpsons has apologised for a depiction of Rio de Janeiro that angered everyone from the city?s tourist board to Brazil?s president. The makers of the show got into hot water after they portrayed Rio as dirty, dangerous and overrun by monkeys in an episode that took the cartoon family on a whirlwind adventure in the South American country.
?We apologise to the lovely city and people of Rio de Janeiro,? read the statement, which went on to explain: ?The Simpsons is a satirical look at a modern American family.?

The apology comes just days after the head of the city?s tourist board, Jose Eduardo Guinle, announced he was considering legal action against the show?s producers. ?It?s a completely unreal image of the city,? he said at the time. The country?s President Fernando Henrique Cardosa agreed, saying the episode ?brought a distorted vision of Brazilian reality.?

Entitled ?Blame It On Lisa?, a reference to the 1980s film Blame It On Rio, the instalment also portrayed Rio?s police department as lazy and showed cartoon son Bart swallowed by a boa constrictor.