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'The Simpsons' stands with 'Charlie Hebdo' in tribute

The Simpsons paid tribute during Sunday's episode to the 12 people killed last week in the attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Before the final commercial break, an image briefly appeared of Maggie Simpson holding a flag "Je Suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie"), a slogan adopted by supporters of free speech in the wake of the shootings.

The image, with its blue, white and red background, would seem to be a nod to Emile Bayard's iconic illustration of Cosette for Victor Hugo's Les Misérables or, as some have suggested, Eugene Delacroix's famous painting Liberty Leading the People.

Sunday's episode, "Bart's New Friend," was originally a spec script written in 1990 by a young Judd Apatow. The script was resurrected by The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean and given a polish by the show's runners after Apatow talked about it on stage.

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