Disney removes ‘Simpsons’ episode with China ‘forced labor’ reference from Hong Kong thumbnail

Disney removes ‘Simpsons’ episode with China ‘forced labor’ reference from Hong Kong

HONG KONG — An episode of “The Simpsons” that refers to “forced labor” in China has been reduce from Disney’s streaming carrier in Hong Kong, where a national security laws has raised rising censorship concerns.

NBC News confirmed that the episode — “One Offended Lisa,” the 2d episode of basically the most up-to-date season — used to be no longer on hand on the Hong Kong model of the Disney+ streaming carrier, but it with out a doubt used to be no longer particular when it had been removed.

The absence of the episode used to be first reported by The Financial Times.

In one scene of the episode, the character Marge Simpson is in a digital bike class in which the teacher reveals footage of China’s Good Wall and says: “Gaze the wonders of China: bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where younger of us create smartphones.”

The Chinese language govt denies allegations of forced labor, as smartly as accusations that Hong Kong’s freedoms salvage eroded below the national security laws, which Beijing imposed in 2020 and says used to be essential to restore balance after months of anti-govt protests.

Here is the 2d “Simpsons” episode with an unflattering China reference to be reduce from the streaming carrier in Hong Kong, a broken-down British colony that used to be promised a high level of autonomy when it returned to Chinese language rule in 1997. The old episode, which refers back to the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. crackdown and on the starting up aired in 2005, has no longer been on hand in Hong Kong since Disney+ launched there in 2021. The carrier is no longer on hand in mainland China.

Disney declined to train publicly when approached by NBC News. A spokesperson for the Hong Kong govt acknowledged Tuesday that its Movie Censorship Ordinance, which used to be amended in 2021 to allow officials to bar movies deemed “opposite” to national security pursuits, did no longer apply to streaming services and that it did no longer train on particular particular person industry decisions.

The spokesperson added that the four offenses established by the national security laws — subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with international forces — and the associated penalties had been clearly defined.

“Law-abiding of us and organizations will no longer unwittingly violate the laws,” the spokesperson acknowledged.

Disney has a alternative of industry pursuits in China, at the side of a theme park in Hong Kong.

Two movies from Disney-owned Shock Studios are being launched this month in mainland China, the sphere’s 2d-most attention-grabbing film market after North The US, ending an apparent ban that lasted more than three years.

Disney’s elimination of the “Simpsons” episode would possibly per chance presumably per chance furthermore had been an act of self-censorship, acknowledged Kenny Ng, a film censorship educated at Hong Kong Baptist College.

“The firm would possibly per chance presumably per chance furthermore salvage proactively removed any potentially offensive footage or narratives from its merchandise and streaming carrier to play right for its future industry in China,” he educated NBC News in an e mail.

Jennifer Jett

Jennifer Jett is the Asia digital editor for NBC News, primarily based in Hong Kong.

Carina Cheng



Tags: Disney,removes