Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, currently under house arrest, is to star in the hit Fox show, The Simpsons. Founder of the controversial Wikileaks website, Julian Assange, who is currently under house arrest in the U.K., is set to appear in a special episode of The Simpsons starring as their nextdoor neighbour living in an isolated house.
Mr. Assange who is currently fighting extradition to Sweden over alleged sex offences, which he denies, was able to record his lines earlier this week from his home in the U.K.
Casting director Bonnie Pietila was approached as she had already managed to attract big names, such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to appear on the show. In true Simpson style, she noted that having Mr. Assange in the show would be “controversial,” but that it had “satirical” value and Mr. Assange was happy to take part. However, for obvious reasons they have avoided mentioning anything to do with the current ongoing extradition case.
To date, big stars including Kelsey Grammer (who also recently appeared in the hit NBC show 30 Rock), Larry King, Dustin Hoffman and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to name a few, have appeared on the show which is currently in its twenty-third season.
First aired in 1989, the show at its peak was attracting in excess of 14 million viewers, though in recent years that has dropped to just over 7 million.
Last December, Mr. Assange’s legal team was granted permission to appeal to the U.K.’s Supreme Court, Sweden’s extradition request which originally dates back to February last year.
Assange’s website Wikileaks, started back in 2006, has attracted much controversy, with some feeling let down by its leaking of sensitive information. Most recently it was responsible for what is viewed as one of the largest leaks of classified documents in history, when it leaked around 400,000 documents with sensitive information relating to the Iraq war.
Mr. Assange seems to have been much in demand and in the media spotlight in recent weeks, not only for this forthcoming guest appearance on The Simpsons, but also as a chat show host for Kremlin funded TV channel Russia Today.
There is no doubt that despite Mr. Assange’s house arrest, many will find the apparent freedom he appears to be having confusing.