Did the TV show The Simpsons predict the protest movement that has swept the United States after the murder of George Floyd on May 25? You might mistakenly think so if you’ve come across several fakes screengrabs that have gone viral in recent days.

When there are similarities between things that have happened in the real world and various scenes from the 31 seasons of the American animated series The Simpsons, fans often interpret them as predictions. Recently, a series of fake screengrabs have gone viral, making it look as if the writers of The Simpsons predicted the Covid-19 pandemic, the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and the meeting between President Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg.

There are also fake screengrabs circulating online that make it look like the writers of The Simpsons predicted the murder of George Floyd, a black American who was killed by a police officer and his colleagues on May 25 as well as the protests that ensued.
The arrest

Posts shared hundreds of thousands of times, especially on Twitter, claimed that an episode of The Simpsons (some posts specified it was from the 90s) included a scene eerily similar to the arrest that ended in George Floyd’s murder.
Facebook user Chirz posted in French: "Do you think Trump will survive? Because it’s not over yet #anonymus #Anonymous"

Turns out, however, that two independent cartoonists made these images in reaction to these events, not before. A reverse image search (check out how to run one yourself by clicking here) pulls up the original tweets by these two artists sharing the images for the first time. The duo often produce Simpson spoofs, to make fun of celebrities, for example, or to encourage people to respect lockdown

Mais ces deux images ont en fait été réalisées par deux dessinateurs indépendants en réaction à l'événement - et non antérieurement. Une recherche d'images inversée (voir ici comment procéder) permet de retrouver les tweets d'origine de ces deux artistes, qui ont d’ailleurs l’habitude de publier des détournements des Simpson, par exemple pour caricaturer des célébrités ou pour inciter à respecter le confinement.

Aside from the fake screengrabs that supposedly predict Floyd’s arrest and murder, other images have also been circulating that claim to show the the writers of The Simpsons also predicted the ensuing protests and unrest.

A police station in Minneapolis was burned down during protests on May 28. But, as highlighted by fact-checkers at Snopes, the photo of a building on fire that appeared in numerous tweets has nothing to do with that event  it’s actually a building near the station under construction. Moreover, the fire in the police station in Springfield, the town where The Simpsons takes place has nothing to do with protests. The scene is from episode 6 of season 11 and it makes fun of the police chief’s failure to act as the building burns behind him.

The images that have been circulating of a torch-bearing mob and the darkened White House do come from The Simpsons, however. The first is from the 2007 movie while the second is from a mini episode from April 2017 marking the start to Donald Trump’s presidency.