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Disney +: China-critical "Simpsons" episode not available in Hong Kong


China shows itself to be free of humor - even when it comes to comic characters. The dictatorship blocked a "Simpsons" episode in which the protests on Tiananmen Square in 1989 were discussed.

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Scene from the "Simpsons" episode "The Simpsons go to China"

An episode of the popular US cartoon series "The Simpsons" with a reference to the bloody crackdown on protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989 is not available on the Disney streaming service in Hong Kong.

After information from attentive customers, the AFP news agency found in its own test on Monday that episode twelve of the 16th season is missing from Disney + in Hong Kong - episodes eleven and 13 are available, however.

In the missing episode, the Simpson family travels to China to adopt a baby.

They also visit Tiananmen Square.

There is a sign that reads: "Nothing happened in this square in 1989" - a satirical allusion to China's campaign to erase memories of the 1989 democracy movement.

Disney + also launched the series, which has been popular for decades, in Hong Kong at the beginning of the month.

It is not clear whether the US company blocked the episode of its own accord or was asked to do so by the authorities.

Neither the entertainment giant nor the Hong Kong government responded to AFP requests.

Until recently, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region enjoyed great artistic and political freedom compared to mainland China.

However, since the democracy protests two years ago, the authorities have cracked down on activists, artists and members of the opposition.

This summer they passed new censorship laws that forbid all content that violates the so-called security law from last year.

The so-called Security Act allows the authorities to take rigorous action against all activities that they believe threaten national security and massively interferes with Hong Kong's autonomy rights.

This includes, for example, calls for the independence of the economic metropolis.

On other streaming platforms in Hong Kong, content is still available that satirically deal with China's controversial human rights policy.

For example, another episode of the US cartoon series "South Park" can be seen on Netflix, in which one of the characters ends up in a Chinese labor camp.

A large part of the show also makes fun of the willingness of US companies to adhere to Chinese censorship regulations in order not to jeopardize their profits.

nga / AFP / dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-11-29

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