Everyone’s seen this video by now, but I thought I should comment on it regardless. My first impression is that it’s brilliant. I have a very soft spot, like about a billion others, for The Simpsons even though I haven’t really seen about 12 of the last seasons. Anyhow, before going on take a look if you haven’t seen it already.
After seeing it a few times my opinion stays pat: brilliant. It’s true that I could say that this dumbs the issue of sweatshops down to a homer simpson level, and making black humour over the very serious issues of child labour is not productive. But I don’t believe that. I think anything, especially in mass media, that makes people think critically on even a subconscious level about sweatshops and their own personal consumption, is good. I also think that the whole discussion about sweatshops can be unapproachably dark, and sometimes a joke can start the conversation going, breaking the ice. How many discussions, serious discussions about sweatshops do you think got started by this viral video? It’s got 2.5 million hits thus far, so even if 1% of people started talking, that’s a huge impact.
My Cultural Divide tried to do this to a point, but only with a micro fraction of the viewership. I am proud of my film, and I am glad that people still have the chance to see it online via this website. But I could never have the viewership a a major tv show on a major network has. Hopefully, people who have begun to think about working conditions for adults and children (and unicorns) because of Banksy and The Simpsons, will seek out more information and more in depth discussions. Maybe some of you found yourselves here because of it. If that’s the case, you’re welcome to watch my film, start up a discussion, or follow some of the many links on sweatshops connected to this one.