Disney+ Streams 'The Simpsons' in Hong Kong, But Leaves Out Tiananmen Square Episode - Reports
01:14 GMT 30.11.2021 (Updated: 01:19 GMT 30.11.2021)
The cartoon family flies to China to adopt a baby in the 2005 episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan." The Simpsons family visits Tiananmen Square in Beijing, where they come upon a plaque that reads, "On this site, in 1989, nothing happened," a witty reference to the suppression of the pro-democracy demonstration in the Chinese capital.
Disney+ has launched in Hong Kong but apparently is missing an episode of "The Simpsons" with a joke about Tiananmen Square, prompting concerns about censorship, media reported, citing users.
For the service's customers in Hong Kong, the 16th season of the popular Fox animated show reportedly skips from episode 11 to 13.
It is, however, unclear whether the episode was removed by Disney+ or by Chinese authorities, who control the national media via its "Great Firewall" measures.
The episode, in which the Simpsons visit the main sights of China, also contains a scene in which Homer Simpson, while next to the body of Mao Zedong in his mausoleum, calls him "a little angel that killed 50 million people."
In comparison to the mainland, Hong Kong, a former British colony that was returned to China in 1997, has enjoyed political and creative freedoms until recently. After widespread protests, which sometimes turned into riots, stormed Hong Kong two years ago, the course of things started to change.
Hong Kong has implemented a number of additional measures, including new alleged censorship regulations enacted this summer, that prohibit any broadcasts that potentially violate a sweeping national security statute China imposed on the city last year.
Authorities have reportedly ordered directors to delete offensive scenes from their graphic works and have refused to allow some movies to be screened in public.
According to The Guardian, Netflix's Hong Kong channel is still airing 'South Park's' "Band in China" episode. In it, Stan's father Randy ends up in a fantasy Chinese labor camp, and most of the show mocks American corporations like Disney's willingness to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions in order to make money.
The Tiananmen Square events in 1989 were a series of student protests in the square in Beijing, which endured for over two months. The protest movement was violently suppressed by the Chinese army on June 4. There is no exact data on the number of victims, but official statistics cite more than 200 protesters and several dozen soldiers killed.