An episode of “The Simpsons” censored in HK for critic on China's labor situation
Movies & Television Series

An episode of “The Simpsons” censored in HK for critic on China's labor situation

Feb 8, 2023, 8:12 AM
Nicole Pulido

Nicole Pulido


Mention of forced labor camp in an episode of “The Simpsons” led to the episode being taken down from the streaming service Disney+.

Hong Kong has ordered to take down an episode of the longest running cartoon series “The Simpsons” that was criticizing the situation of workers in mainland China.

In an episode called “One Angry Lisa” (episode 2 of season 34), Marge Simpson can be seen cycling on an indoor spin bike, which she became obsessed with after after being summoned for jury duty.

While on a virtual bike tour, the on-screen instructor can be seen in front of a virtual background of the Great Wall of China, and said: "Behold the wonders of China. Bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones, and romance."

According to Variety, the episode is currently not available in Hong Kong as the labor camps reference indirectly criticizes China’s policies in Xinjiang, the large province where the government has been widely criticized by the United Nations, western governments and human rights organizations regarding the inhuman practices when it comes to factories.

The episode, however, is available to watch in the United States on Hulu, another Disney platform.

Two years ago, an episode which featured a scene in Tiananmen Square, the site of a brutal massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing in 1989, which bared the sign "On this site, in 1989, nothing happened,” which can be seen while the Simpsons family was visiting the Chinese capital.

The removal is in regulation with a newly introduced and highly controversial national security law in Hong Kong in 2020, which bans "sedition, secession and subversion" against Beijing, however, streaming video is not specifically covered.

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong government even clarified that a separate film censorship law only pertains to the exhibition of films, and does not "apply to streaming services or internet platforms."

The Hong Kong government said the film censorship law was only aimed at content that was deemed to “endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite activities that might endanger national security”.

Tags: #Disney+, #the simpsons, #China, #censorship

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