Many years ago, I wrote a column for Mental Floss, Four Simpsons Controversies that Didn’t End in Lawsuits. Number 1 on the list was show’s relationship with Rio. In short, after the family visited Rio in “Blame it On Lisa,” the minister of tourism threatened to sue the show, arguing that the show would hurt the tourism industry, with its depiction of slums, roaming monkeys, and crime (while not the sum of Rio, all true). The Simpsons didn’t apologize and in fact continued to make references to Rio, including a line about Mr. Teeny’s uncle being the minister of tourism.
Now, as the Rio Olympics are almost upon us, all of the news about Rio is dire. As this CNN article details, Rio is broke, crime is rampant, the zika virus and super bacteria threaten health, and the infrastructure for the games just isn’t in place.
In “The Wife Aquatic,” Lisa exclaims that a certain place is “the most disgusting place we’ve ever gone.”
Bart: What about Brazil?
Lisa: After Brazil.
Sadly, the police in Rio seem to agree, as they have been welcoming visitors at the airport with this sign: