04/04/2016 11:35 BST

'The Simpsons' Writer Rob LaZebnik Reveals Smithers' Coming Out Was Inspired By His Son

After years of privately fawning over Mr Burns, Smithers has finally revealed his feelings.

‘The Simpsons’ writer Rob LaZebnik has revealed why long-running character Waylon Smithers’ coming out was so personal to him.

In Sunday night’s episode (3 April) of the animated sitcom, ‘The Burns Cage’, Smithers finally confessed his feelings for his boss, Mr Burns, coming out as gay to both viewers and the residents of Springfield, after decades of less-than-subtle clues.

Waylon Smithers has finally come out as gay

Rob, who penned the episode, has now revealed he wrote it with his son Johnny, who came out to him while he was a high school student, in mind.

Speaking to the New York Post, he joked: “I am a Midwestern guy, so I don't tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I thought, 'What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?'”

The writer also spoke about how he felt that gay storylines can have a positive impact on people’s lives, even in animated series like ‘The Simpsons’.

“We didn't want to have that big moment of 'I'm out', you know? Instead, just have it be a big embrace - like everyone knows it,” he added.

‘The Simpsons’ has dealt with gay themes multiple times in the past, most notably in the episode ‘There’s Something About Marrying’, which was trailed with the news that one long-standing character would be coming out of the closet.

While viewers initially speculated that this would be Smithers’ moment, it was actually Marge’s sister, Patty Bouvier, who shocked the family with the news that she was a lesbian.

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