back to article 'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

It appears that Twentieth Century Fox is none too pleased with Nancy Cartwright's use of Bart Simpson to punt an upcoming Church of Scientology event in a "robo-calling" recording. Committed Scientologist Cartwright, who has donated $10m to her favourite cult, begins her message with “Hey, what’s happening man, this is Bart …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    o rly?

    You know who else is going to be pleased?

    Or more to the point, you don't know them.

  2. Oliver C


    if it werent for the fact that i absolutely love the simpsons and that i hate it when all of a sudden speakers for animation characters change id say boot her off the show...

  3. Richard
    Paris Hilton


    Lisa is invariably blathering on about Buddhism? Doesn't that count as an endorsement?

    Paris coz something about losing her religion.

  4. Jerome

    I'm still confused

    "The Simpsons does not, and never has, endorsed any religion, philosophy or system of beliefs any more profound than Butterfinger bars."

    Okay, but do they endorse Scientology or not?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Expanded Abilities?

    How can doing the same voice for 20 years be considered expanding one's abilities?

    I love the Simpsons and everyone's entitled to belief/religion/cult of choice, but come on!...

    Now, must get back to worshipping Steve with my iPrayer.

  6. Chris Leuty

    Oh yeah?

    "Cartwright, 51, became a Scientologist in 1989, and attributes much of her subsequent success to the church". So, nothing at all to do with working on a long-running animated sitcom that started in 1989 then?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Youtube link

    Here's the recording...

  8. Cameron Colley

    Just how many demented fucktards are there in hollywood?

    ...or do these celebrity types get to share money conned out of other "members" of the "church"?

    @Richard: Last time I checked Buddhism was a religion, not a bunch of conmen looking for more money and influence.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    grounds keeper Willie

    should sort her out with a baseball bat! unless the devil has given her super human strength.

    So she gets bored some place else on Sunday, who cares.

    Although before the Daily mail readers chip in is it really acceptable to prevent her using a voice that SHE created for whatever she wants? really I mean if it was you who had create the voice? OK thought not.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, *before* she joined Scientology she dreamed of making a living doing voice over work on animations and since joining Scientology she's...made a living doing voice over work on animations. So, where exactly is the amazing expansion of abilities please?

    In fact, she's been doing the voice of Bart Simpson (clearly her most famous and probably most wealth inducing work) since 1987 and only joined Scientology in 1989. So really, how does she think it's helped her at all. Unless she was having difficulty dealing with the $10,000,000 she gave to them and they did her a favour by taking it from her...!

    Carry on!

  11. Fab De Marco


    Perfect opportunity for the SImpsons writers to do the same kind of scientology episode that caused Isaac Hayes to leave South Park.

    Lets see if Scientology will give you another career opportunity after leaving simpsons. No it won't you will be a 51 year old actress who will be known only as the voice of Bart... Fail

  12. Eddie Edwards

    @ Richard

    "Lisa is invariably blathering on about Buddhism? Doesn't that count as an endorsement?"

    So do you think Russell T Davies endorses the extermination of all life in the universe?

  13. g e

    Eat my shorts

    At least the Sham-o-tologists will stand a chance of getting a (C) takedown themselves for a change.

    Someone else must be able to voice Bart similarly, surely?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's true!

    Her achievements are now totally beyond doing voice-overs for animation, like errr... umm....



    Lisa's a geek no-one listens to them, had the character been a useless dimwit with behavioural issues or good at sport then there would be a problem.

  15. Ash
    Thumb Up

    Copyright infringement

    Sue her like your representitives (RIAA / MPAA) sue children, grannies, and dead people or i'm never paying for a single piece of any of their media again.

    Or don't, and expect it to be used in cases against you.

  16. Evil Auditor

    Lack of aspiration

    "my abilities expanded so far and above what I originally dreamed that I've amazed even myself"

    Scientology is for clueless people then. So nothing to worry about for us...


  17. Ferry Boat

    Resurrection Joe

    Ye gods, I was stuck on the "...I’m now auditing on new OT [Operating Thetan Level] Seven.” bit. Then I used the internet. From the main man himself, "On New OT VII one solo audits at home daily. This is a lengthy level, requiring a considerable amount of time to complete. It is the final pre-OT level, and culminates in attainment of the state of CAUSE OVER LIFE.".

    Can they not just create some sort of on-line game where they can do this sort of thing? Keep it out of the real world because it really has no relation to the real world at all.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Even things up with Apu

    Why not make Apu turn the Kwik-e-Mart into an Islamic fundamentalist training camp

  20. Tony

    We love the leader!

    Anybody remember that episode?

    The SImpsons join a cult who are exploiting their followers for financial gain and promising to fly them all off to another planet in a spacecraft. Sound familiar?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    I'd sincerely watch out about how you describe the church of Xenu. Before you know it you'll have black 4x4's tailing you at every move!

  22. Mark McC

    Scientology helped your career?

    No, you signed up for a low-key voiceover gig with The Simpsons, which then became one of the most successful TV shows ever, with millions of people seeing your name across their television screens every week. I think that contributed more to your subsequent career than any Thetan voodoo nonsense.

    Hail Xenu!

  23. Mark

    re: Lisa?

    And the rest of the cast apart from guest speakers Paul and Linda McCartney and Apu (who is indian) take the piss out of it. Hell one line is

    "Jeesz, Apu, your lot must have been at the back of the queue when they handed out gods".

    "Please, Mr Homer, stop feeding my got Peanuts"

    Will Nancy accept a sketch taking the piss out of CoS?

    Chef in South Park didn't.

    Simpsons take the piss out of religion as much as they endorse it.

  24. Gary
    Paris Hilton

    Scientology? Religion?

    I thought it was a shit Sci-Fi!

    Paris cos even she isn't stupid enough to believe this crap.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Dump Nancy and Bring In Another Voice Actor

    It's not like they couldn't find a voice actor who could do a similar voice - and probably at a fraction of the salary.

    BTW, I shall not be watching Simpsons again until they remove her from the role.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Before you all wade in

    Well she had $10m to give away, so she must be doing SOMETHING right! So y'know, maybe she might just have a point!

    Discuss... :-)

  27. jai

    last time i'll ever watch the simpsons again

    hang on, her dream before was to do voice-overs

    and now she's a scientology-drone, she's famous for doing what? voice-overs

    it doesn't occur to her that she's owes her fame to the show?

  28. Michael Reed

    System of beliefs

    The Simpsons seems pretty consistently left when you compare it to South Park.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    reverent lovejoy??

    so thats two religon then, no cults as yet.

    I am sure all the charactors she voices can have accidents and she can be booted from the show!

  30. Pink Duck
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear

    My opinion of her has now been permanently degraded.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone interested

    Like me, since first learning of Cartright, I havne't watched another episode and I've been trying to get an address out of Fox to protest and send my Simpsons stuff back to them. I did get a phone numebr - 020 7753 8686

    If you want to join in the protest, ask for the Press department and ask them for a postal address to which you can return your Simpson stuff.

  32. Andrew Tyler

    I wonder if...

    Being borged by the Scientologists is just a good career move for a hollywood type similar to joining whatever country club the executives play at even though you hate golf. Of course, going on to donate $10M is just plain nuts. It can't be worth that much. I thought she didn't make all that much (relatively) doing the Simpsons anyways.

  33. Yorkshirepudding

    isaac hayes anyone?

    ill say no more

  34. Niall

    Who owns the voice?

    I thought Fox owned the voices meaning that the actors can't use them unless promoting something for the Simpsons or something sanctioned by Fox

  35. steogede

    Copyright!! - ROFL

    Fox don't have a leg to stand on - not on the copyright claim anyway. They don't own "Bart Simpson's" voice, it is Nancy Cartwright's voice - she can use it any way she likes. If Richard Wilson made a recording saying :

    "You won't believe it, this is Victor Meldrew ...just kidding don’t hang up this is Richard Wilson".

    Is there anything the BBC could do?

    I suppose Fox can use a copyright CLAIM to get it taken off YouTube - after all YouTube will probably uphold any complaint just to make life easier for themselves. They might even, just possibly have a valid trademark claim.

    Having said all that - anyone who has involvement automated robot cold calling deserves to die a horrible death.

    Oliver C - Can I suggest a solution that would allow her to be sacked without changing the characters voice (except maybe for one episode) - they could record a episode where Bart takes a job doing phone robot recordings, then the rest of the town could find out and hack him to pieces. Clearly Cartwright might not agree to record this episode, so they could hire a replacement for one show; or given that it is just a single show, they could use a bit audio special effects to cut and paste samples from previous shows. -- Okay it means Bart has to die, but it is worth it if it acts as a warning to anyone else thinking of recording a robot voice for the purpose of cold calling.

  36. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Boot her

    If I go into work and use the company connection to get a load of films and dodgy games, all for my own personal gratification, against my employers policies, then tough, I'd end up out on my earhole!

    You can't tell me that they can't find a replacement somewhere in the world? Anyway, I can imagine the show can only have a half dozen seasons left by now, they've done 20 odd.

  37. EdwardP

    Is that...

    ...the sound of... oh my god... yes... I think it is...

    The Internet Hate Machine awakes.

  38. Mark

    She had $10m?

    So what, she doesn't have it now.

    There are more people who have $10m and DON'T work in Scientology than do.

    Maybe working in CoS reduces your earnings potential.

  39. Dave Walker

    Apu is Hindu

    @AC 12:28 GMT

    Actually, I can't think of when they have had an prominently Islamic character on the show...

    <Rev. Lovejoy> "...Be they Christian, Jewish, or Miscelleneous."

  40. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    Worst. Belief System. Ever.

    Seriously, do these people have a lobotomy when they start making money, or what?

    I'm suddenly very glad I've never bought any of those Simpsons box-sets. I like the show, but the thought of my money making its way to these lunatics is nauseating.

  41. Philip Bune


    I vote Kang and Kodos for the heads of Scientology, come down to J.Travolta & mr mini himself T. Cruise

    to say "its all a lie you humans will believe anything"

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Even things up with Apu

    "Why not make Apu turn the Kwik-e-Mart into an Islamic fundamentalist training camp"

    Because Apu is a Hindu?

    Thanks for playing .... and come again!

  43. Craig

    Red Bull should sue

    "After I became a Scientologist my abilities expanded so far and above what I originally dreamed that I've amazed even myself." ®

    Scientology gives you wiiiiings?

  44. Mark

    RE:grounds keeper Willie

    "Although before the Daily mail readers chip in is it really acceptable to prevent her using a voice that SHE created for whatever she wants?"

    You'd have a point there, if that's all she did. You might want to reread the story. She used the Bart Simpson character, not merely the voice. Check out the first line of the telephone call- It's quoted in the story.

    I would think she has the right to use the voice itself, unless she has signed away such a right. She has no claim whatsoever to the name or character of "Bart Simpson".

  45. Mike

    @Cameron Colle

    >>Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 12:13 GMT

    >>@Richard: Last time I checked Buddhism was a religion, not a bunch of conmen looking for

    >>more money and influence.

    errr.... you obviously don't understand how the Lama class system works then (a bunch of conmen looking for more money and influence).

    Religions and pseudo religions are all the same, L Ron may have been an unstable crack head wanting easy money, but at least he made no bones about it.

  46. Anonymous Coward


    I don't think we need to worry about what the Simpsons will become after cult lady gets kicked off - its about bloody time Bart's voice broke anyway!

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Being whacky != funny.

    The Simpsons are not funny anymore, the shark was jumped several seasons ago.

    Just end the show already.

  48. Ned Fowden


    Hey, she was also the voice of Chucky from Rugrats, and Rufus on Kim Possible

    thats a fine career !

  49. Herby

    Just a simple case of...

    ...being on the Dark Side. Nothing more, nothing less.

    "Use the force Luke..."

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    She started voicing Lisa first

    Epic logic fail on her part. She was voicing Lisa before becoming a Xenu-hater. Lisa is the only major role she has voiced. How exactly did Hubbardism make her successful?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Never been a Simpsons fan, but this presents some interesting possibilities. Simpsons sues Scientology for copyright infringement. As a result of winning the case gets to own valuable property of the Scientologists and selects their copyrighted materials....

  52. Smallbrainfield
    IT Angle

    Mmmmmmm, chocolate coated operating thetans....


  53. Anonymous Coward

    Time to HELP these Victims?

    CoS is a poorly written sci fi script, writen by a Sci Fi writer, used by people as a way to brain wash others into giveing them all your money!

    They are growing stronger, richer and thier evil is spreading.

    but we do have one weapon to fight this Sci Fi CULT

    I say its time for the Jedi to take on the CoS, lets show them what a real sci fi following can do!

    Im off to change the crystals in my light saber.

    Blind we are, if creation of this clone army we could not see.

    -- Yoda

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Re: reverent lovejoy??

    "so thats two religon then, no cults as yet."

    Three religions - Krusty is Jewish, and his father is a rabbi (first seen in "Like Father, Like Clown" if memory serves - it's a good skit of The Jazz Singer)

    There have been cults in the Simpsons - the Stonecutters (more of a freemason-type thing, with Patrick Stewart voicing the head honcho) and at least one episode featuring the Movementarians (might have been a swipe at cults in general, rather than the CoS in particular)

    Personally, I prefer Futurama's take on religion: "Is there anything religion can do to help me, Father Changstein el Gamal?"

    Mine's the one with the can of Slurm in the pocket.

  55. Dave

    Bart must die!!!

    I suspect that the above actually has been the title of a simpsons episode, but anyway, either they have enough recordings of 'his' voice to be able to be able to piece things together without her, or its time for an interesting and terminal event.

    <- Maybe a major conflagration?

  56. michael

    not that I h8 the cult at all

    but she has a point a lot of my cristain friends would agree with

    she joined for a minor voice part in 1987 joined a religion and now her minor voice part is making her more then $10 mill and she thinks her god is favouring her

    I got a job and a good deal mortgage just before the bubble burst and I now have lost more mony then my friends and my cirstain parents say god if favouring me

    not that much diffract

  57. Anonymous Coward


    If I say “Hey, what’s happening man, this is Bart Simpson... hahaha...” does that mean I'm in breach of copyright?

    If Rory Bremner impersonates a fictional character by using their catch phrase is he?

    Where did they get the auto dialler from, did it have stickers with property of Professor Fink, Jimmy the scum bag, Homer, No sorry Marge's auto dialler?

    Is the Reg in breach of copyright for reporting on a story incorporating to many elements that have featured in episodes of the Simpson?

    I doubt the outrage would be the same if she had been encouraging people to attend her churches bring and buy sale. I understand why a religious person might object or campaigne against Scientology but as an agnostic I don't care, and I doubt you all care as much as you think you do.

    (unless her involvement in Scientology has offended the flying spaghetti monster in which case "burn the heretic!")

  58. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Copyright allows reproduction for

    Critique, teaching, reporting and for lampooning.

    So, no.

  59. Phil

    Wise Donut Man

    The next Simpson's episode now needs to introduce a new character...

    Wise Beard Man!

    He could get arrested for standing around on the same city block as an unnamed cult's "church", Lisa tries to stop the injustice of his wrongful arrest, while Bart joins the cult, Marge hires someone to kidnap him and bring him home. Homer will grow a beard to and start up his own MyTube video channel where he preaches about Duff beer.

    Wise Beer Man

    His words are wise

    His face is donut. Mmmm... donut.

    So what would happen? I think Nancy would leave the show over it all, and join Isaak Hayes in the unemployment line. Or they'd all hang out together in Tom Cruise's closet.

  60. Cameron Colley

    @ Mike

    Fair point -- but religions generally have other aspects to them other than the acquisition of money of money and power -- such as preventing the village from getting tapeworms or calming warring tribes so that resources can be shared. I would like to point out for the record, however, that I don't condone the promotion of religion in any form.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    oh dear

    man she's a total dick. that would make me NOT want to join

  62. Kenny Swan


    Being sucked in by religion makes you gullible. Being sucked in by scientology makes you a fool. Giving $10m to the twats and risking your job by associating The Simpsons with something Fox didn't authorise makes you nothing but an A Grade, 5 star, award winning moron and I've lost what little respect I have for Nancy Cartwright.

  63. RW
    Paris Hilton

    "just kidding"

    I've heard that line before from screwy cults after they do something especially reprehensible. IIRC, the Rajneeshees tried it after spraying bacteria on salad bars in The Dalles, Oregon to sicken people and prevent them from voting contra-Rajneesh and after dosing a bunch of hobos with Haldol to keep them under control.

    [Recollections may be dim and details not as stated.]

    Sorry, Nancy. You are a fail.

    Why do Hollywood types fall for scientological nonsense? Because, dear people, they're only actors and actresses, a breed that isn't required to do much in the way of critical thinking. All that's required is a good memory for your lines and an ability to follow the director's instructions. In the case of Nancy, all that's required is the ability to read very simple English.

    From such a milieu, no flowers of intellect can be expected to emerge.

    All hail Xenu, Galactic Lord!

    Paris, because I still think that under the public airhead persona she's a pretty astute businesswoman who knows how to parlay notoriety into good money.

  64. Joe

    The Simpsons has been crap for years

    Since the turn of the century the Simpsons has been pretty poor, and getting poorer as far as I can see. Kill the whole programme off!

  65. raving angry loony


    Of course, the CoS being quite rich, they won't be the target of insane lawsuits by Fox or the RIAA/MPAA for illegally using the material. These folks are only interested in chasing 12 year old girls or 90 year old grannies who don't have the money to fight in court.

    Of course, if they got off the pot and outlawed robocallers it would go a long way to cleaning things up. But again, profit before people.

  66. Onionman


    You owe me one keyboard: Mine's now full of tea.


  67. Mark

    @By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 29th January 2009 15:02 GMT

    There's more then one Mark here, but I'm the one who originally posted.

    If you used Bart Simpsons likeness to promote your own agenda without permission, yes, you are violating copyright. I'm not sure how anyone can possibly think otherwise. A employee of a company who contributes to the production of intellectual property does not own the entire intellectual property.

    If she used the voice, but not the Name or the iconic catchphrases, I think she'd be in the right. Unless, of course, she already sold the rights to that voice.

  68. jake Silver badge

    @Cameron Colley

    "Last time I checked Buddhism was a religion"

    No. Proper Buddhism is a philosophy and way of life, not a religion. The difference? There is no worship in Buddhism ... at least there shouldn't be. In fact, Buddhism doesn't ask that you drop your current religion when following the Middle Path ...

    "not a bunch of conmen looking for more money and influence."

    Oh, that that were true ... Somewhere, somewhen, the Gautama Buddha sheds a tear over what is being perpetrated in his name.

  69. Mark Simon

    Who cares?

    The Simpsons has barely turned out a good episode this century. Maybe Scientology is all that keeps it going, because it sure isn’t quality.

    Cartwright is, of course, entitled to use her own voice, and if it happens to sound like Bart Simpson, well, that’s the way it goes. I believe, however, that Fox is legally entitled to govern the use of the name.

    Did Warner Brothers have anything to say when Mel Blanc used his voices to promote Amex cards?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think we actually agree on something!

    This isn't your usual line on copyright though is it?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientology and The Simpsons

    So long as she doesn't do an Isaac Hayes aka Chef from South Park, and leave the Simpsons if they lampoon Scientology again.

    The Simpsons did do an episode, 11 years ago (Season 9, Episode 13) titled The Joy of Sect. In the episode, a cult called the "Movementarians" takes over Springfield, and Homer and the rest of the Simpson family become members. The Movementarians were largely inspired by Scientology [and other cults].

    There are several similarities between the Movementarians and the Church of Scientology. "The Leader" physically resembles L. Ron Hubbard; the Movementarians' "trillion year labor contract" alludes to the Sea Org's billion year contract; and both groups make extensive use of litigation.

    Several other similarities listed here:

    You can watch the episode here:

    You can hear the robocall here

  72. Adam Foxton

    And if you can find it in your heart to forgive here

    send $10 to "Sorrygirl", 742 Evergreen Terrace.

  73. Mark


    It's my normal view on copyright. However, Mark is a fairly common name, and used by more then 1 poster- I think I count 3 posts under the name Mark on this thread alone that I didn't make. I suppose I should correct that.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    She sounds like a watered down Donald Duck to me. With less brain. How is it that even though Bad Teeth Ron said he was going to make (little finger in mouth) "a million dollars" by starting a religion, people still fall for this tripe?

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough.. I awoke this morning...

    And when I awoke I had a funny idea about how ethical parasites like Nancy Cartwright got posts of prominence in "popular" shows.

    Along the lines of how the cherch of scientology had a habit of putting it's leeches into the limelight.

    The simpsons? I was THE original FAN when it came out on the Tracy Ullman Show....

    And when it came on ONCE a week, it was a real treat.... now it's is or was on TV 2 X a night, every night 5 days a week with infinite repeats and a Sunday special.... for the last 5 or 10 years.... or whatever...


    Nancy Cartwright? Who? Oh that bullshit nazi cult with that stupid woman.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    @Adam Foxton

    Why is it called "Evergreen Terrace" when it is clearly a detached house?

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The Simpsons

    Stopping being regularly funny ages ago. Please let it die now.

  78. Jacob Lipman


    Join him at the unemployment line, huh? The unemployment line OF THE UNDEAD!

    Isaac Hayes croaked last year. Must've misbalanced his thetons or some such nonsense.

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