January 28 2009

Bart Simpson Voice Used In Scientology Phone Calls

bart simpsonNancy Cartwright, a devout Scientologist, is using her famous Bart Simpson voice in Church of Scientology phone calls.

It has come to light that Ms. Cartwright is mixing the voice of Bart Simpson, and his name, with her own while making automated robocalls promoting a Church of Scientology event.  Last time I checked, none of the voice actors on The Simpsons were allowed to use their famous characters voices without the express consent of the show.  Somehow I find it hard to believe that such consent would be given for endorsement use with a controversial organization such as Scientology, but, of course, I could be wrong, but I find that unlikely.

The robocall was recorded on an answering machine and uploaded to YouTube.  I am embedding the video below, and linking to it, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if this disappears in the not-to-distant future by either the producers of the series or the Scientologists.

This is disturbing on many levels as Bart Simpson is an endorsement that could be used to recruit children to the questionable “church”, although it does sound like this call is being placed to, or supposed to be, to existing members of the group as she uses some fairly specific terms (“auditing”, “OT 7”) that are not known to the general public.  It looks like this call may have been misdirected to an OP (“Oppresive Person”, the Scientologist term for a non-believer who speaks against the group), and they never expected it to ever be known outside of their little circle of followers.

I would hope we might hear a comment from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, clarifying if this was done with or without the permission of the show.  If it is done without their permission, it will be interesting to see what, if any action is taken against Ms. Cartwrigh for using the character and voice in such a way.

Am I biased?  Sure I am, I make no effort to hide my dislike of this group, and am always looking for a reason to speak out against them, such as when “I Found The Card” last year put out there by the anti-Scientology activists Anonymous to educate people about their antics.  So, yes, I do tend to jump on any mis-steps they make, and this may be one of the largest mistakes they have made in quite awhile.  Let the fireworks begin!

UPDATED: One of the show’s producers, Al Jean, gave a quote to E! Online:

The Simpsons does not, and never has, endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars,” said executive producer Al Jean in response to the implied connection.

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