If there's one thing we know for sure about The Simpsons, it is that the popular animated TV series has been spot on with its predictions of the future over its three-decade-long run.
The show has been on the mark with its predictions of real-life happenings. These include Trump's presidency, the invention of smart watches, FIFA's corruption scandal, US beating Sweden to win a curling competition in the Olympics, Disney's Fox takeover, and at least three Super Bowls among several other events.
On Thursday, Texas senator Ted Cruz was spotted boarding a flight to Cancun with his family while many of his constituents were stuck at home, struggling to cope with power outages and frigid conditions as the state was battered by a harsh winter storm.
As the Republican drew widespread criticism on social media for vacationing in Mexico while his state was reeling from catastrophe, some social media users started sharing a set of images from the animated sitcom showing Mayor Quimby making a similar decision, claiming The Simpsons predicted Cruz's trip to Cancun while his home state was in the middle of a historic crisis.
Is it Real or Fake?
The Simpsons is often subjected to false rumors of "predictions" using digitally-altered images, as in the case of the U.S. Capital Riots, so the authenticity of these images is often questioned. However, we can confirm that the above images are from an actual The Simpsons episode that aired in 1993.
In the episode, titled Marge in Chains, the character of Mayor Quimby addresses the public after a pandemic, dubbed the "Osaka Flu," rips through Springfield. Quimby informs the public that he was cancelling his trip to Bahamas to deal with the town's problems but it is later revealed that Quimby was filming from a beach in the Bahamas, wearing a jacket and tie on top of swim trunks.
He tries to pretend that he's at work in his office, but a man playing a steel drum nearly gives him away. Watch the scene below:
Cruz's Issues Statement on Trip to Cancun
In a statement issued on Thursday, Cruz confirmed that he flew to Cancun with his family flew back to deal with the situation in Texas.
"This has been an infuriating week for Texans," he said. "The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors' houses. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too.
"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends," Cruz continued. "Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe."
After returning to his home in Houston, Cruz said that he regretted his actions.
"It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn't have done it," he told reporters, per NBC. "I understand why people are upset." Cruz wanted to make his daughters happy, but "leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn't feel right and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight. I began really second-guessing that decision and saying look, I know why we're doing this, but I've also got responsibilities, and it had been my intention to work remotely, to be on the phone, be on [the] internet, to be on Zoom, to be engaged. But I needed to be here, and that's why I came back."
This is not the first time that the clip from The Simpsons has been circulated to criticize a Texas public official who seemingly abandoned their constituents in a time of crisis. In December, Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas, had filmed a video filmed a video urging his constituents to abide by a "stay at home order" to battle the pandemic while he was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas.