Actor Hugh Jackman and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich lent their voices to the season finale of The Simpsons on Sunday. Jackman played a janitor who used music to explain to Bart Simpson the collapse of the U.S. middle class.
“I'm saying you'll definitely never get a job like your dad's, and you'll have a tough time finding something significantly worse,” Jackman’s character said.
Reich, who played himself, sang, “The decline of unions, rampant corporate greed, Wall Street malfeasance and the rise of shortsighted politics all contributed to increased economic inequality, widespread real unemployment, wage stagnation, and a lower standard of living for millions of Americans.”
The musical number also called out Fox News and Facebook for spreading misinformation, fear-mongering and race-baiting. A character in the likeness of cable news host Tucker Carlson is shown saying, “Putin for president, next on Fox News.”
The lyrics, “Facebook feeds our fright // They convince us things were great // When gas was cheap and men were white” can be heard while a character in the likeness of Mark Zuckerberg presses a red button which reads “death of democracy.”
Simpsons went hard tonight in the finale. Speaking the truth about the deterioration of the middle class
— Chris Benzine (@Crispy272002) May 23, 2022
Damn the Simpson just explained the destruction of the middle class perfectly.
— Werrance Tilliams (@TWTalkinBout) May 23, 2022
The musical number was celebrated by viewers and fans, even though some found the subject matter to be somewhat depressing. It will also be interesting to see what reaction, if any, the stars of the top-rated cable news network think of their primary network’s most successful show taking a swipe at them.
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