HONG KONG: The popular ‘Simpsons’ episode of ‘forced labor camps’ in China has been banned on Disney + for Hong Kong specific regions. China is imposing censorship concerns in the city.
Hong Kong once sang its own praises of significant artistic and cultural freedoms relatively to mainland China, but higher authorities have bolted down on an objection following democracy protests in 2019, including stepping up film censorship.
The episode 2 of the US animated hit’s 34th season included the line: “Behold the wonders of China. Bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones and romance.”
AFP confirmed, ‘One Angry Lisa’, which first aired last October, could not be accessed on Disney + using a Hong Kong connection but is available elsewhere.
In three years, it has happened for the second time that the streaming service in Hong Kong has dropped a Simpsons episode that mocked China.
The last banned episode of Simpson showed a visit to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square–1989 deadly crackdown site on democracy protests — “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened” has questioned China’s integrity on a worldwide platform.
Neither the Hong Kong government nor Disney has commented on it immediately. However, last year, In 2021, Hong Kong passed censorship laws to forbid broadcasts that could or might breach the National Security Law that China imposed on the city. As a result, censors have ordered directors to make cuts to their films and refused permission for others to be shown.
Although these rules do not cover streaming services. However, authorities have warned that OTT platforms are still subject to the national security law, which criminalizes the broadly defined crimes of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
In recent years, Hollywood has been accused of manipulating China’s censorship regime to tap into its massive consumer base and billion-dollar box office.
A recent United Nations report found that allegations of torture and forced labour in the far-western Xinjiang region were credible, but beijing denied the accusation.
Rights groups stated more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are detained in what the US State Department and others have said amounts to genocide.
In 2020, Disney came under fire for filming the live-action Mulan remake in Xinjiang, with local government agencies thanked in the credits.
- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist