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This "Simpsons" Writer Dedicated Smithers' Coming-Out Episode To His Son

And now I'm sobbing.

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If you're a fan of The Simpsons, you know that it's no secret that Smithers is gay and in love with Mr. Burns.

Fox

His unrequited love and closeted sexuality has been a running gag for more than two decades.

However, this week's episode finally had Waylon Smithers come out publicly for the first time.

Fox

Until now, Smithers hadn't even been considered a gay character by the show's producers. In the DVD commentary for Season 2, Al Jean said he considered Smithers to be "Burns-sexual," in that he's really only attracted to Mr. Burns.

But there's an incredibly touching reason why: Rob LaZebnik, the episode's writer, devoted the episode to his son, who is gay.

Fox

"I am a Midwestern guy, so I don’t tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve," LaZebnik told the New York Post, "but I thought: 'What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?'"

The episode is also being praised for the subtle way it handled Smithers' coming out.

Fox

"We didn’t really want to have that big moment of 'I’m out,' you know?" LaZebnik said. "Instead, just have it be a big embrace — like everyone knows it."

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