Springfield's worst kept secret will soon be no more.
Waylon Smithers, longtime assistant to and admirer of Mr. Burns and owner of the world's largest Malibu Stacy collection, will at last come out as gay to his oblivious boss this season on The Simpsons, showrunner Al Jean tells TVLine.
"In Springfield now, most people know he's gay, but obviously Burns doesn't," Jean says. "We deal with that in two episodes. ... We actually do a lot with Smithers this year; he gets fed up with Burns not appreciating him and considers his options."
Smithers' sexuality and obsession with Burns have been recurring jokes on the show for years. Last season featured an episode in which Smithers daydreamed about Burns coming out to him.
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, Jean teased that Smithers decides to move on this season after realizing that he'll never get what he wants from Burns. "We have a show where ... he quits and falls in love with somebody else," he says. "The someone else is a character that Hank [Azaria] has done on the show before, Julio, who is a little like his character from The Birdcage."
The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8pm on Fox.