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The Simpsons Co-Creator Says Bart Will “Continue to Be Strangled”

The Simpsons co-creator and producer James L. Brooks has cleared the air about whether or not Homer has ceased strangling his son Bart.

“Don’t think for a second we’re changing anything,” Brooks said in a new interview with PEOPLE“Nothing’s getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing.”

Late last month, in a Simpsons episode titled “McMansion & Wife,” Homer and Marge go next door to visit their new neighbor Thayer. “Whoa, that’s quite a grip,” Thayer remarks after exchanging a handshake with Homer. “See, Marge? Strangling the boy paid off,” Homer brags, before turning back to Thayer. “Just kidding, I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”

Some longtime Simpsons fans expressed some disappointment in the patriarch’s change of character. But the team behind the show quickly backtracked later last week by sharing a drawing of Homer strangling Bart, exclaiming at his son: “Why you little clickbaiting–!!”

“He’ll continue to be strangled — [if] you want to use that awful term for it,” Brooks added to PEOPLE. “He’ll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way.”

At least it’s been a while since Homer last showed that very specific love: Per IGN, Homer last strangled Bart on screen during the show’s 31st season, which aired in 2019 and 2020. Earlier this year, The Simpsons as renewed through its 36th season. The show’s team has made a few tweaks over its three-decade run in order to keep up with the aforementioned changing times — notably, in 2020, Hank Azaria confirmed he’d no longer be voicing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian character who’s been critiqued as a caricature of South Asian stereotypes.