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The Simpsons' Waylon Smithers comes out of the closet

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Undated handout photo issued by Sky 1 HD/Fox of Waylon Smithers Jr (centre) in The Simpsons' episode "The Burns Cage", as the character has come out as gay after 27 years in the closet, thanks to the son of one of the show's writers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 4, 2016. Rob LaZebnik, who is also a co-executive producer on the long-running animated series, has a 21-year-old son named Johnny, who is gay. See PA story SHOWBIZ Simpsons. Photo credit should read: Sky 1 HD/Fox/PA Wire

Undated handout photo issued by Sky 1 HD/Fox of Waylon Smithers Jr (centre) in The Simpsons' episode "The Burns Cage", as the character has come out as gay after 27 years in the closet, thanks to the son of one of the show's writers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 4, 2016. Rob LaZebnik, who is also a co-executive producer on the long-running animated series, has a 21-year-old son named Johnny, who is gay. See PA story SHOWBIZ Simpsons. Photo credit should read: Sky 1 HD/Fox/PA Wire

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Undated handout photo issued by Sky 1 HD/Fox of Waylon Smithers Jr (centre) in The Simpsons' episode "The Burns Cage", as the character has come out as gay after 27 years in the closet, thanks to the son of one of the show's writers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday April 4, 2016. Rob LaZebnik, who is also a co-executive producer on the long-running animated series, has a 21-year-old son named Johnny, who is gay. See PA story SHOWBIZ Simpsons. Photo credit should read: Sky 1 HD/Fox/PA Wire

The Simpsons' Waylon Smithers Jr has come out as gay after 27 years in the closet.

In an episode broadcast last Sunday in the US, the storyline sees Homer on a mission to find Smithers a boyfriend.

Homer embarks on his goal after Mr Smithers' object of affection, Mr Burns, leaves him devastated by not showing an interest.

Although Smithers has hinted at his sexuality in the past, this was the first episode in which he openly admitted being gay.

Rob LaZebnik, a producer on the series who has gay son named Johnny, said: "I thought, 'What better way to tell my son I love him than to write a cartoon about it?'"

Johnny added: "The revelation that my father loves me is not much of a revelation, thankfully."

Belfast Telegraph