February 1st, 2012
11:12 AM ET
Although he's been under house arrest in Britain, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will nevertheless have a cameo in an upcoming episode of "The Simpsons."
The controversial figure will voice the "Simpson-ized" version of himself in the 500th episode of the long-running series, which will air February 19.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Assange will serve as a sort of "new Flanders" for the animated family after they "go off the grid" once Marge and Homer learn that Springfield's residents have been holding secret meetings to try to kick them out of town.
There was a rumor floating around that Assange had been interested in a "Simpsons" guest spot, and after creator Matt Groening caught wind of it, he asked casting director Bonnie Pietila to track him down - "and she did," Groening told EW.
Assange managed to record his guest spot at an unknown location as executive producer Al Jean directed him from Los Angeles.
"He's a controversial figure," Jean admits, "and there's a good reason he's controversial. There was discussion internally about whether or not to have him on the show, but ultimately we went ahead and did it."
As Assange prepares to appeal extradition to Sweden this week in connection to allegations of sexual assault, Jean notes that "The Simpsons" steers clear of "anything to do with the legal situation he's in...We wanted to make sure it was satirical, and he was willing to do that."
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