Hong Kong audiences have reported that an episode of The Simpsons which made a number of jokes at the expense of the Chinese government, including one poking fun at their denial of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, has been pulled from their region-specific version of Disney Plus.
As first reported by local news outlet Stand News on November 27th, users within the China-governed administrative region have discovered that the twelfth episode of the series’ sixteenth season, “Goo Goo Gai Pan”, has been pulled from the Hong Kong version of the Disney streaming service.
According to a screenshot provided by Stand News, upon attempting to navigate to the episode, Disney Plus users in Hong Kong are met with the its complete absence from the season’s line-up, with the episode guide instead skipping from the season’s eleventh episode, On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister, directly to its thirteenth, Mobile Homer.
The episode, which sees the titular family takes a trip to China in order to help Marge’s sister adopt a local orphan, was ostensibly memory-holed by Chinese censors due to its featuring of various jokes poking fun at the East Asian country’s authoritarian government.
These jokes include an assertion from Homer, made while standing over the deceased body of Mao Zedong, that the peaceful resting state of the late Communist despot made him look “like a little [sleeping] angel that killed fifty-million people,”:
A placard mocking the government’s continued attempts to scrub the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre from their peoples’ memory:
And a visual parody of the infamous ‘tank man’ image now synonymous with the aforementioned events of June 5th, 1989:
While not featured as a part of the script in and of itself, the episode may have also caused issues with censors due to its featuring of a map, hung on the walls of the Chinese consulate in Springfield, which identifies Taiwan as a separate entity from China – a reality which China’s Communist government continues to vehemently dispute.
As of writing, Disney has yet provide an official reason for the episode’s removal.
What do you make of the pulling of Goo Goo Gai Pan from the Hong Kong version of Disney Plus? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!