Anderson won two awards for directing the episode. Synopsis A shop owner befriends the Simpson family, but after discovering he is a homosexual, Homer fears Bart will emulate him. Instead of Homer, Bart, Barney, and Moe going deer hunting and ending up at "Santa's Village" they would go back to the steel mill. Later that day, Homer notices that Bart is showing strange tendencies such as wearing a Hawaiian shirt that he says "came out of the closet," choosing cupcakes with pink icing over chocolate icing, and repeating some of John's phrases such as "Homer, you are the living end". This backfires when the reindeer attack them.
He then takes Bart to the Ajax Steel Mill to show Bart real men hard at work and make Bart more manlike, but to Homer's dismay, the mill's manager and all his workers are gay, and at breaks they turn the mill into a gay nightclub. The censors stated that they did not like the use of the word " gay ", or the discussion of homosexuality at all, and closed with a paragraph which stated that "the topic and substance of this episode are unacceptable for broadcast ". Bart and Lisa take an instant liking to John, and Homer invites him to the Simpsons' house to see the campy items that the family owns. This makes Homer uneasy, and he begins to fear Bart is gay. Many of the staff were fans of his work, and showrunners Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein had planned to use him in an episode called "Lisa and Camp", which revolved around Lisa "discovering the joys of campy things". The other family members enjoy the drive, however, and when they return Bart shows Homer a zapper gun John gave him, which Homer remembers seeing before. This backfires when the reindeer attack them. The episode ends with everyone driving off in John's car. He first pitched that Homer and Bart would encounter longshoremen , but it was too much work to animate the lading of ships, so a steel mill was used instead. Usually the censor notes are ignored as the offending lines and problems are dealt with after the episode has been animated. Then, he and Homer dance to a record, where he calls Homer "the living end". After Lisa informs Bart that Homer thinks he is gay, Bart is stunned. At Santa's Village, the group smashes through the gate and finds some reindeer. The pair concluded by saying "this is a side of the show we'd not seen before, nor particularly wanted to see. Homer's attitude towards John changes completely, and he turns against him, refusing to join his tour of Springfield. Homer turns around and says he expects to see dead reindeer when he looks back again. In its original broadcast, "Homer's Phobia" finished tied for 47th place in the weekly ratings for the week of February 10—16, , with a Nielsen rating of 8. Homer sees this as a start and asks him what kind. Production[ edit ] John Waters instantly accepted the invitation to guest-star in the episode. Homer now realizes that gays are not sissies after one of them John has saved his life, and Bart now realizes that Homer thought Bart was gay. There, Homer would attempt to prove his heterosexuality by having a human tractor pulling contest with some of the steel mill workers. It was the fourth-highest-rated show on the Fox Network that week. One of them read "Bart the homo", and Ron Hauge was selected to write the episode, with the story stemming from that line. Homer meets John, the antiques dealer, who explains that much of the merchandise is there because of its camp value. Instead of Homer, Bart, Barney, and Moe going deer hunting and ending up at "Santa's Village" they would go back to the steel mill. He grabs Bart out of John's pawn shop, and he takes him hunting with Barney and Moe.
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