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Palace welcomes cartoon version of Duterte in ‘The Simpsons’

President Duterte appears in an episode of The Simpsons in a screengrab from a video posted on Youtube on Dec. 14. The image was inspired by the awkward handshake between Duterte and President Trump during the opening ceremony of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila last month.

MANILA, Philippines — A cartoon version of President Duterte appeared in an episode of “The Simpsons,” a popular American television series known for poking fun at famous personalities. 

In the “Mueller meets Trump” episode, a framed photo of Duterte and US President Donald Trump doing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN) handshake could be seen hanging on the wall of the American leader’s office.

The photo depicted the awkward handshake of the two leaders during the Philippines’ hosting of the regional meet last month. 

The episode portrayed Trump as someone who was willing to pay bribes to stop the investigation on the alleged meddling of the Russian government in the 2016 US presidential elections. 

The cartoon version of Trump flooded the room with money and offered this to special counsel Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the probe on Russia’s involvement in the US elections.

He also offered Mueller the chance to become a judge of the Miss Universe pageant, an allusion to allegations that the American president committed sexual misconduct against women.  

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“I do the best bribes, everyone says so,” the cartoon version of Trump said. 

“If you (want to) see the girls, just go in the door that says don’t go in.”

While the episode was not meant to be flattering to Trump, Malacañang viewed it in a positive light, saying it reflected the impact of the Philippines’ hosting of ASEAN. 

“That picture of world leaders with the ASEAN leaders has become iconic and has made a mark among the people. And the fact that a cartoon artist of ‘Simpsons’…had a creative idea and drew it, it means that ASEAN really made a mark,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar told radio station dzMM yesterday. 

“The ASEAN was that successful not only in the Philippines but in the whole world. Even Americans watched the handshake of our President and President Donald Trump,” he added.  

While Duterte is being portrayed negatively by several foreign media outlets, Andanar said the cartoon reflected the appeal of the Philippine leader.                             

“The fact that President Duterte was included, that means that he has a different appeal to the one who made that picture. Of course, we are happy that it was created because it showed how successful we were in hosting ASEAN,” Andanar said.

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