In its 26-year run, The Simpsons has been known more for its spoofs than its seriousness. But last night, America’s longest-running sitcom aired an episode in which the series paid homage to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings. The tribute aired moments before the show’s final commercial break.
Although infant Maggie is a character of few words, her silence spoke volumes last night as she hoisted a black flag inscribed “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”).
The phrase took flight via social media last week as a sign of solidarity from media outlets and journalists. Many cartoonists also showed their support and sympathy through Twitter.
Since the airing, viewers have noted Maggie’s resemblance to the subject of the French painting “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix, through her clothing’s torn shoulder and the background’s likeness to the French flag. Some have also remarked on her similarities to the Isabelle Allen film poster for 2012’s adaptation of Les Misérables.
The statement was silent and swift, devoid of commentary and music, and only lasted for a brief second before the screen faded black and then went to commercial.