Julian Assange, the controversial founder and editor in chief of WikiLeaks, will guest star on long-running animated TV series The Simpsons.
He will make a brief vocal cameo during the show’s landmark 500th episode airing in North America on Feb. 19, a show spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters.
Assange portrays himself as a neighbour of the Simpson family when they relocate from the town of Springfield and settle in a new home in a remote locale.
Currently serving house arrest in the U.K., Assange recorded his lines remotely from a secret location over the summer.
Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly magazine that series creator Matt Groening heard a rumour that Assange was interested in guest-starring on the series and the show’s casting director secured the appearance.
The Simpsons has landed a wide range of guest voices over the years, from Tony Blair to Michael Jackson to Thomas Pynchon.
Assange is “a controversial figure, and there’s a good reason he’s controversial,” Jean told Entertainment Weekly.
He added that “there’s nothing we did that has anything to do with the legal situation that he’s in.… We wanted to make sure it was satirical, and he was willing to do that.”
Last week, it emerged that Assange will star in a TV talk show set for broadcast in March by a state-funded Russian TV network.
He is scheduled to appear before the British Supreme Court on Wednesday to appeal his extradition to Sweden, where he faces sex crime allegations. Assange has received death threats over his whistle-blower website’s release of secret and classified information