'The Simpsons' Image Purporting to Show Diddy Prediction on Classic Show Is Actually an A.I. Fake

Showrunner Matt Selman is now speaking out about the confusion-stirring image, which was previously debunked in April.

Sean "Diddy" Combs in a pink suit at the BET Awards 2022, juxtaposed with a Simpsons character also in a pink suit
Images via Facebook/ryze.hendricks & Getty/Amy Sussman
Sean "Diddy" Combs in a pink suit at the BET Awards 2022, juxtaposed with a Simpsons character also in a pink suit

The tiring annoyance of certain aspects of A.I. is rearing its head again this week, as people are apparently still buying a widely shared, albeit entirely fake, image of a purported Diddy-focused Simpsons prediction as real.

To be clear, the image in question, which USA Today previously reported first originated on Facebook in late March, is, in fact, not real. Now, per a report from TMZ on Thursday, Matt Selman, who currently serves as showrunner of The Simpsons, has spoken out about the A.I.-enabled confusion. 

"In the current era of digital misinformation, The Simpsons 'predictions' (or, more accurately, 'coincidences') have become meaningless," Selman told the publication, adding that "any goofball" can now easily make and distribute fake images, all while continuing to cheapen the once-fun practice of connecting world events to classic Simpsons moments.

Of course, there are numerous examples of reality overlap involving the Matt Groening-created classic, which has been on the air since 1989. As Selman pointed out, however, these aren’t so much predictions as they are a collective testament to just how long the animated sitcom has been on the air (35 seasons, a history-making run) and how many jokes ("tens of thousands," by Selman’s count) the show has landed over the years.

The image in question, seen above, was actually debunked nearly two months ago. As USA Today pointed out at the time, the image originated on a Facebook post made by Kevin Rivera, a.k.a. DJ Skandalous. On FB, the image now carries an "altered photo" warning, which Meta applied in response to independent fact-checkers highlighting its potential to "mislead people" on the platform.

This isn't the first time Selman has spoken out to clarify that widely shared images purporting to depict legit Simpsons moments are indeed fake. As seen in a few examples below, the problem isn’t just relegated to recent Diddy developments.

An AI-generated image of a character resembling Kanye West in a suit and sunglasses, chased by police in a scene styled like "The Simpsons."
A tweet from Daniel Heithorn showing a cartoon with a ship crashing into a bridge, saying "#TheSimpsons starting to be scary to me...". Matt Selman replies, "This is fake AI image not from the show"
Tweet by CryptoDisciple saying "THE SIMPSONS ALWAYS TELL TRUTH #PDidddy" with AI images of Homer Simpson and P Diddy. Matt Selman replies: "These are both fake AI images not from the TV show."

At the time the fake Simpsons image of Diddy started circulating, word of the raids at his homes in Miami and Los Angeles was still fresh in the news cycle. More recently, surveillance footage was released by CNN showing Diddy assaulting Cassie at a Los Angeles hotel in 2016. Diddy later shared an apology video, saying he was "disgusted" by what’s shown in the video. Thursday, Cassie shared a statement thanking friends and family for "all of the love and support" she's been receiving lately.

"The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning," Cassie said. "Domestic Violence is THE issue. It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become. With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past."

Latest in Pop Culture