Fox is having a cow over an automated voicemail message left by Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, recruiting attendees for a Church of Scientology event, reports USA TODAY’s Gary Levin. In the message, Cartwright, who introduces herself as Bart in the character’s voice, says she is “now auditing on new OT 7,” and invites recipients to Scientology’s “Flag World Tour” event in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, where she’s been asked to speak. In a statement, executive producer Al Jean denies any connection between Scientology and the series: “The Simpsons does not, and never has, endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars.” A spokesman at 20th Century Fox says the studio was told the calls have stopped and Fox has not taken any further action. It’s unclear how widely the voicemail was distributed.
I have to admit, it really creeps me out to have such an iconic voice from a show which (long ago anyway) had so much credibility as a source of incisive commentary and satire being put to use for a ludicrous, dangerous cult.