The world's most recognized unknown graffiti artist, Banksy, put his subversive stamp on The Simpsons' iconic opening sequence Sunday night, adding Springfield and network televsion to his running list of victims.
Not one to shy away from beef, the artist used the unprecedented opportunity to take a swipe at the show's parent corporation, 20th Century Fox, and the media giant's practice of outsourcing animation work to South Korea.
The opening sequence starts off roughly the same way it has for 22 seasons, albeit with a few strategic shout-outs to the artist and his M.O.
The screen then flickers off, and the audience is transported to the bowels of a dismal sweatshop, where slave animators ink and color Simpsons cartoon cells. A child worker fixes the frames in a leaking vat of toxic waste.
Falling deeper into the depths, laborers are seen struggling with racks of Simpsons apparel, cats are harvested through a wood chipper to provide stuffing for Simpsons dolls, and the single horn of an emaciated unicorn serves as a Simpsons DVD hole-punch.
The titles wrap up with an Orwellian-rendering of the 20th Century Fox banner walled-off by barbed-wire, floodlights, and a watchtower.
The stunt marks the first time in The Simpsons' record-breaking run that producers have hired outside help to direct its title sequence. By choo-choo-choosing Banksy, the show knowingly courts controversy.
Despite outsourcing some of its animation, the network hasn't been accused of running sweatshops. The episode itself had zero to do with forced labor.
The show's waning relevancy may have needed a little pick-me-up from a legitimate artist whose intentions, like his identity, can sometimes be a little hard to place.
Cloudy controversy aside, the collaboration between Fox and Bansky is definitely worth seeing, if for no other reason than to take part in the meeting of provocative and commercial minds.
Catch the clip here.