Blame It on Lisa controversy
Blame It on Lisa is the fifteenth episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, written by Bob Bendetson and directed by Steven Dean Moore. In the episode, the Simpson family travels to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, to find a needy child which Lisa helped, named Ronaldo, who ended up causing a high phone bill to them.
The episode became controversial in Brazil due to the stereotypical and heavily clichéd portrayal of their country and the Brazilian culture being falsely conflated with the cultures of other Latin and South American countries in the episode, which former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso called "a distorted vision of Brazil's reality."
Riotur, Rio de Janeiro's board of tourism, threatened to sue Fox for the episode portraying the city as being full of slums and rodent infestations, as well as having widespread kidnappings and other street crime, but failed to do so in the USA, because the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects parody works. However, James L. Brooks, the executive producer of The Simpsons, ultimately apologized to Rio de Janeiro for the episode's content saying: "We apologize to the lovely city and people of Rio de Janeiro. And if that doesn't settle the issue, Homer Simpson offers to take on the president of Brazil on Fox's Celebrity Boxing."
Due to the controversy caused by the episode, before the premiere of the episode in Brazil on December 7, 2002, Fox displayed a disclaimer stating they had nothing to do with the content of the following program. However, the episode was banned from being shown on Rede Globo on open TV, but two scenes from the episode were used in the commercial of The Simpsons' return on Rede Globo in 2003. Years later it finally debuted on open TV on Band in 2014.
- Turner, Chris (2004). Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation.
- Ydstie, John (April 9, 2002). "Analysis: Brazilian officials talk about lawsuit in regards to an episode of 'The Simpsons'". All Things Considered. National Public Radio.