The Simpsons — Day Laborers

In this rare, popular culture portrayal of Day Laborers, The Simpsons evinces a characteristically ambiguous politics with regard to immigration. At first, Homer’s interaction with day laborers outside Builder’s Barn (a thinly veiled Home Depot surrogate) appears to be ironically progressive, pointing out the social inequalities between day laborers and the people who hire them. However, later in the clip, a broader fear of mass immigration is revealed when Homer declares, “You can’t have too much of a good thing,” whereupon waves of immigrants from neighboring Ogdenville rush into Springfield. The show sidesteps issues of race, by portraying the Ogdenvillians with vaguely Scandinavian features and accents, but otherwise plays out a standard, anti-immigrant narrative followed by a simplistic resolution based on learned mutual respect.

Thanks to Steve Anderson for the clip and description!

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