Campbell not impressed with Simpsons humour

THE world's most successful cartoon series has come in for heavy criticism over an episode that features Northern Ireland.

The twentieth season of 'The Simpsons' is currently airing to great acclaim in the USA, but the DUP's Gregory Campbell has said that people here will find some references in one of the episodes hard to swallow.

Controversy has surrounded an episode of the new series in which a brawl breaks out between the Northern Irish and Southern Irish population of the cartoon's fictional base, Springfield during a fight between superheros, the totally orange in colour, 'The Thing' from 'The Fantastic Four' and the completely green, 'The Hulk'.

Whilst critics are contending that the characters are representative of the Protestant and Catholic communities here, it is a comment from 'The Simpsons' character, Bart that has caused most offence.

During the cartoon rumble, Bart asks: "Where are the IRA when you need them?"

And despite the episode receiving praise in the USA, East Londonderry MP, Gregory Campbell says the reference to the republican terror group is wholly inappropriate.

"The Simpsons is a humorous cartoon but the context of using a line like that about an organisation which caused so much death will lead people to have very mixed views," he said.

"Some people may take it as a light hearted reference, while others who were affected by the real life violence of the IRA and are still suffering with that legacy, will not."

Mr Campbell said that many people were still coming to terms with the aftermath of the 'Troubles'.

He added: "It's one of these things that had it been done many years after the events have been looked upon in a benign light, but there's still a generation out there dealing with the aftermath of the IRA violence which was so brutal.