Disney+ removes ‘Simpsons’ episode in Hong Kong over this infamous joke

Disney+ has removed an episode of The Simpsons that features the cartoon family visiting Tiananmen Square.

Hong Kong Disney+ users have reported that the episode is noticeably missing from the streaming service: the show’s 16th season skips from episode 11 to 13. Episode 12, titled “Homer the Great,” follows the family as they take a trip to Hong Kong’s famous Tiananmen Square, where protestors were killed by government-ordered troops. The episode first aired on Fox in 2005.

In the episode, The Simpsons come across a plaque that reads: “Tiananmen Square: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened.” This is in reference to how the Chinese Communist party has forbid and taken measures to block or censor discussions of the massacre.

The episode was removed because of this particular joke.

(Disney+)

The removal of the episode comes at a time when citizens have been fleeing Hong Kong and seeking sanctuary elsewhere.

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A Hong Kong-based reporter tweeted a screenshot of the episode’s joke and wrote: “Disney has allegedly removed one episode of The Simpsons from the Hong Kong edition of Disney+, which described the family’s visit to Beijing and carried this famous scene.”

Until 2021, Hong Kong had been free of the political and artistic censorship that takes place in the rest of China. New laws have been introduced that censor films and episodes of TV shows that could be deemed offensive.

Despite these laws, Netflix Hong Kong is still streaming the South Park episode, “Band in China,” where Randy winds up in a Chinese labor camp. Director Joe Piscatella’s Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, a documentary about a Hong Kong student activist who became the face of the 2014 pro-democracy movement, is still available for streaming.

It has not been confirmed whether the Simpsons episode was removed by Chinese officials or Disney+ itself.

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