Bart Simpson used to promote Scientology

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nancy Cartwright, 51, who is a long time member of the Church of Scientology, has created a recording using her voice of Bart Simpson as part of a robocall promotion. The message surfaced early Wednesday morning on YouTube.

During the message, Cartwright states that "This is a special message" and announces a Scientology conference this coming weekend at the grand ballroom of the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles where she has a speaking engagement. The message ends with a toll free number to call to RSVP. Wikinews has obtained audio of the message, which is displayed near the end of this report.

Nancy Cartwright
Image: Cartwright Entertainment.

Cartwright, who also voices the roles of Nelson Muntz, Todd Flanders, Kearney and Ralph Wiggum, has been following the Church of Scientology since 1989. She has donated millions of dollars to the Scientology organization, founded by L. Ron Hubbard. In 2007, she gave a US$10 million donation to the organization, surpassing donations from actors Kirstie Alley, John Travolta, and Tom Cruise. Cartwright earns approximately $400,000 per episode.

This is not authorized by us.

Al Jean, executive producer, The Simpsons

The Simpsons executives did not authorize this usage of intellectual property in this manner. Executive producer Al Jean told The Hollywood Reporter, "This is not authorized by us. The Simpsons does not, and never has, endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars," referencing the advertisements featuring the Simpsons for the Butterfinger candy bar.

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has not yet issued a statement about Cartwright's recorded message. According to FOX News, Twentieth Century Fox television would not comment on whether or not Cartwright would face disciplinary actions in response to the usage of Bart Simpson's voice in this capacity.

Cartwright begins the message with, "Hey, what's happening man, this is Bart Simpson...", and then says she is kidding and identifies herself as the voice actress. Cartwright proceeds to use her own voice and Bart's voice throughout the message.

She states, "I'm now auditing on new OT [Operating Thetan] Seven," referring to a level of spiritual state as used within Scientology. Operating Thetan level seven is one of the higher levels in Scientology. Cartwright uses Scientology jargon while speaking in Bart's voice, saying she will share her "many wins" as an "Auditor" at the Hollywood Scientology event. She invites the listener to the Scientology organization's "Flag World Tour" event on January 31 in Hollywood, California, where she is planned to attend as a speaker.

What do you think of this usage of Bart Simpson's voice?

The message has since been removed from YouTube. Visitors of the link, which appears in several press articles, are now left with a message saying "this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox." Wikinews sent an e-mail to FOX regarding the incident, but as of this report, they have not replied.

The alleged voice mail.
Audio: From video posted by Youtube user fullofbts.

Religion has been a major theme in The Simpsons. In the episode "The Joy of Sect", the commentators said that Movementarians were largely inspired by Scientology, the Jim Jones cult and the Peoples Temple, the Heaven's Gate Cult, the Rajneesh movement, the Raelians, the Oneida Society and Chen Tao.

The late Isaac Hayes left South Park over its attitudes towards Scientology depicted in the episode: "Trapped in the Closet".