Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM ET
The Fox News barb that opened “The Simpsons” Sunday night, which featured a network helicopter bearing the words “Unsuitable for viewers under 75,” was the second such insult from the Fox Broadcasting cartoon staple in two weeks. Why the sudden wealth of close-to-home slams?
Because all’s fair in a network siblings’ feud.
After the original dig aired, featuring a now-familiar news chopper with the phrase “Not racist, but #1 with racists” printed across it, Bill O’Reilly used his own Fox News show to slam “The Simpsons.” According to “The O’Reilly Factor” host, the animated characters were “pinheads” for crossing the network line.
Although no further Fox News bits were slated for “The Simpsons,” executive producer Al Jean told the Hollywood Reporter that O’Reilly’s reaction inspired a last-minute edit.
“It was inserted late because we did the first joke last week and Bill O'Reilly got upset and called (the characters) ‘pinheads,’” Jean explained. “If you're calling cartoon characters ‘pinheads,’ what does that make you? (‘Simpsons’ creator) Matt Groening wanted to do a response to O'Reilly, so we slipped this in just for U.S. version. We didn't pay to put it into every edition, which saves the company money that can be funneled back to Fox News and O'Reilly.”