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RIO DOH JANEIRO; Simpsons spark anger in Brazil.

Byline: MARK ELLIS, Foreign Editor

CULT cartoon The Simpsons has outraged Brazilians by portraying the nation as crime-ridden, poverty-stricken and full of bisexual men.

In a new episode America's favourite dysfunctional family visit Rio de Janeiro to find an orphan sponsored by daughter Lisa.

While there, dad Homer is kidnapped by a cabbie, tourists are attacked by monkeys on Copacobana beach and mugged by children and Bart watches a TV quiz show presented by a semi-naked stripper who seduces children in the audience.

The streets are rat-infested and the local dance is the sexy Penetrada.

Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has described the show as a "distorted vision" and tourist officials are considering suing programme makers Fox.

They fear the episode could wreck a pounds 12million bid to attract US tourists to Rio. Last year 220,000 American visitors were Rio's biggest source of tourist income. Tourist secretary Jose Eduardo Guinle said: "If Fox is so worried about Brazilian orphans, it should donate the profits of the episode to the city's work programme."

Brazil is not the first country to be stereotyped in the Simpsons. Japan, France, Germany and Australia have all been satirised and Americans themselves are the most common targets.

The show was seen by 11million Americans and will soon be shown on Sky TV.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 10, 2002
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