Disney drops ‘Simpsons’ episode in Hong Kong that mentions forced labor in China – Reuters
Disney pulled an episode of “The Simpsons” that includes a line about “forced labor camps” in China from its Hong Kong streaming platform.
The episode – first airing in October last year and titled ‘One Angry Lisa’ – features a scene in which Marge Simpson takes a virtual exercise bike class with an instructor in front of a virtual backdrop of the great Wall of China. The instructor says, “Here are the wonders of China. Bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones and romance.
China’s use of forced labor and mass internment camps to control the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region culminated in a UN assessment that concluded Beijing’s actions could amount to crimes against humanity, although China rejects any allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang.
The “Simpsons” episode is no longer available on the Disney+ platform in Hong Kong, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing censorship experts who say Disney may have removed the episode out of concern for its online business. Mainland China.
This is the second time the platform has been accused of self-censorship in Hong Kong. In 2021, he reportedly released an episode of “The Simpsons” referencing Tiananmen Square, the scene of a brutal massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing in 1989.
In response to a request for comment, the Hong Kong government told the FT that a film censorship system introduced in 2021, which prohibits films from endangering national security, “does not apply to streaming”. A government spokesperson did not say whether it had asked Disney to remove the episode.
In recent years, Beijing has cracked down on Hong Kong’s freedoms, sparking mass protests and international criticism.
Disney could not be reached for comment.