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Smithers finally coming out on ‘The Simpsons’

Smithers/YouTube screenshot

Smithers/YouTube screenshot

Fans of the iconic FOX cartoon “The Simpsons” have watched Waylon Smithers not-so-secretly pine over his boss, Mr. Burns, for years as he tries to hide his sexuality from both the world and the love of his life. But finally, after nearly 30 years in the closet, Smithers is reportedly going to come out of the closet this season.

In an interview with TV Line, executive producer Al Jean talked about the new season of “The Simpsons” and what fans should expect. He revealed that things are going to get tense between Smithers and Mr. Burns and that Smithers is finally going to begin dealing with his shame over being gay.

“In Springfield now, most people know he’s gay, but obviously Burns doesn’t,” Jean said. “We deal with that in two episodes. … We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options.”

Jean didn’t reveal any more information about the episodes, but the new focus on Smithers embracing his sexuality follows the show’s longstanding progression with including gay characters in its storylines.

Besides Smithers, Marge Simpson’s sister, Patty, came out as a lesbian in 2004. And best friends Carl and Lenny have long been rumored to be secretly in love with each other. And before same-sex marriage was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court, “The Simpsons” dedicated an entire episode to same-sex marriage with Homer Simpson marrying gay couples.