The casual remark about Italy’s government – overseeing Europe’s third largest economy – was made by the character Kent Brockman, a TV presenter investigating corruption at Springfield High School.
Confronting Principal Skinner, the small-town TV journalist shows hidden-camera footage of students cheating on their test by using notes scrawled across their bodies.
Brockman’s team also filmed inside the principal’s bedroom, showing him tucking the test’s “answer key” under his pillow before going to sleep. His elderly mother – with whom middle-aged Skinner still lives – swipes the key from under the principal’s pillow and passes it out of the window to Nelson Muntz, the notorious school bully.
“This school is more corrupt than the Italian parliament! If these children are our future then I, for one, do not want to live!” says Brockman.
The episode will likely anger Italians, who just recently were the butt of a corruption joke aired in Canada. A satirical advert by the Let’s clean up Montreal (‘Nettoyons Montréal’) campaign showed a rat-tailed man putting banknotes into a safe to a soundtrack of Italian music. The city’s Italians failed to see the funny side and said it unfairly targetted their community.
But while the Simpsons episode might damage Italians’ pride, many agree that their politicians are corrupt. In a July survey, 77 percent of Italians said the parliament was ‘corrupt or ‘very corrupt’.
View The Simpson’s clip: