'The Simpsons' Predicted the Ontario Finance Minister's St. Barts Controversy
"Get that steel drum out the, uh, mayor's office"
The prediction comes from 1993's "Marge in Chains" (an episode that has already been heralded for its prognostic powers thanks to its depiction of a coronavirus-like epidemic and swarms of killer bees). In the episode, Mayor Quimby claims to have cancelled his trip to the Bahamas due to a public health crisis, but then the camera pans back and reveals that he's on a tropical beach with a steel drum player.
As Canadaland's Jonathan Goldsbie pointed out on Twitter, this storyline is eerily similar to the current scandal surrounding Ontario politician Rob Phillips, who spent the holidays on the Caribbean island of St. Barts despite his government's advice to avoid all non-essential travel due to skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers. Meanwhile, Phillips' Twitter account had been pre-programmed with holiday messages to make it look like he was staying at home.
A leaked video of a Zoom meeting from December 16 (three days after Phillips left for St. Barts) shows the finance minister wearing a sweater and using an image of Toronto's Queen's Park as his background; meanwhile, waves are audible in the background as he speaks. See both the Simpsons clip and the video of Phillips below.
This isn't the first time a politician has gotten caught in a Quimby-like lie about leaving the country. In November, Austin, TX's mayor, Steve Adler, sent out a message urging people to stay home — but it was later revealed that he recorded the message while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
This video was just shared by the Ontario Liberal Party. It appears to be from a Zoom meeting held Dec 16th (three days after Rod Phillips departed for St Bart's). There are claims you can hear the sound of waves in the (non-virtual) background. pic.twitter.com/kIegxTLXJC— Mackay Taggart (@mackaytaggart) December 30, 2020
I'd forgotten the actual context, and oh wow, pic.twitter.com/qNeMywqZRQ— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) December 30, 2020