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The Simpsons praised for new breast cancer survivor character Dr. Wendy Sage

  • Sage made her debut Sunday as a hypnotherapist and breast cancer survivor who has had a unilateral mastectomy and is also showing a visible scar from a port-o-cath, a device used to deliver chemotherapy. The character, created by and voiced by Renee Ridgeley, was featured as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. An actress, writer and breast cancer survivor, Ridgeley is also the wife of Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman. Ridgeley says she's been lobbying her husband for the character. "I was like, 'Let's get a breast cancer survivor on The Simpsons!'" she tells Yahoo! Life. "While Sage has all the telltale signs of a breast cancer survivor: a visible scar from a port-o-cath (a device used to deliver chemotherapy), curly hair regrowing from chemo treatment, an obviously one-breasted appearance, and is visually concave on her mastectomy side, the episode does not focus on her past disease," Ridgeley adds. "Sage shows up as exactly who she is now. By living openly as a one-breasted woman, she sends a message of acceptance and wholeness celebrated by individuals in marginalized groups." Selman even had an index card labeled "Simpsons uniboob" on his desk as a reminder. "We are always looking to reflect the world as the world changes for good and for bad — usually bad! — but we didn't want it to feel preachy or jammed in. We wanted the fit to feel really clean," says Selman. "Viewers are very sensitive to feeling like they’re being lectured to." The Simpsons won praise for the Dr. Sage character, with some noting the important message it sends about body positivity.

    TOPICS: The Simpsons, FOX, Matt Selman, Renee Ridgeley, Body Portrayals and TV