creepy asian sweatshop in banksy's simpsons title sequence

Did you see last night's episode of The Simpsons? The iconic opening title sequence was re-created by notorious UK graffiti artist Banksy, who stamped his playful, subversive sensibility on Springfield... then took dark turn by depicting Asian sweatshop workers laboring over Simpsons animation and merchandise: 'The Simpsons' Title Scene Secretly Created By Banksy. Take a look:

As you can see, there are a lot of sad Asian people in a dark 20th Century Fox cave somewhere slaving over the Simpsons empire. This might not actually be too far from the truth -- the sequence was apparently inspired by reports that the show outsources the bulk of its animation to a company in South Korea.

I'm a little torn about it. As a feat of renegade art, it's kind of remarkable that this got on the air at all. And as outrageous as it is, I appreciate that it's calling attention to cheap and unfair labor practices... Too bad it resorts to some crazy eye-rolling Asian stereotypes, depicting the exploitation of cats, pandas, dolphins and even unicorns.

The title sequence was apparently a huge secret, and according to the BBC, the artist's storyboards led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department. Again, I have to wonder how this got on the air at all, since it actually casts a pretty dark light on the show and network. More here: 'The Simpsons' airs controversial opening sequence by Banksy.

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