The Simpsons Attacks Alberta's "Tar Sands"
Following the recent Canada-centric episode of The Simpsons, Canadian media covered the alleged outrage over the episode's humour toward Newfoundland and "newfies" while ignoring the episode's derogatory reference to Alberta's oil sands.
Entertainment Tonight's coverage of the episode opened with the host, Roz Weston, saying, "The show poked fun at the RCMP, the Ottawa Senators, Newfoundlanders, and Justin Trudeau. But, some were not laughing."
Weston's introduction to the series of clips failed to mention The Simpsons' reference to Alberta's "tar sands" and responses from Albertans. In another review by CityNews Toronto, the hosts failed to mention the "tar sands" reference, but instead chose to cite angry responses by Newfoundlanders and the episode's humour about "newfies" being unintelligent and being known for "killing baby seals".
"Tar Sands" is regarded by most Albertans as a derogatory term for the province's oil sands and energy industry. In the episode, as she reflects on her journey to the country, Lisa Simpson is told by a Canadian , "If it makes you feel any better, Canada exploits its environment too. This country does it all. Tar sands, strip mining, Mountie mocking, geese goosing, french fry gravy-ing."
"Tar Sands" has become a more commonly used term among American environmentalists and extremists to describe Alberta's oil sands near Fort McMurray. The term is seldom used by ordinary Canadians or Albertans to describe the province's oil sector.
Overall, most Albertans, Newfoundlanders and Canadians found the episode funny and were not offended by the reference to "newfies" or the "tar sands". However, Canadian media ignored the "tar sands" reference in their coverage of reactions from Canadians.