Disney+ Censors 'Simpsons' Episode From Hong Kong Service Citing Tiananmen Square Massacre

Walt Disney Co. DIS has censored its Disney+ streaming service in Hong Kong by dropping an episode of “The Simpsons” that makes reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989.

What Happened: According to a Financial Times report, the censored episode is 2005's “Goo Goo Gai Pan” finds Homer Simpson and his rambunctious clan traveling to China to adopt a baby. During their trip, they pause at Tiananmen Square and view a large sign that says: “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened.”

The episode also includes Homer Simpson referring to the Chinese Communist dictator Mao Zedong as a “little angel” who killed millions.

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Why It Happened: The omission of “Goo Goo Gai Pan” from Disney+ in Hong Kong comes after the city’s government updated its film censorship law to ban productions considered “contrary” to China’s 2020 national security law. It's unclear if Disney self-censored the episode or if the Hong Kong government requested its removal. The company has not offered a public explanation of its actions.

Hong Kong authorities banned the city’s annual candlelight vigil commemorating the Tiananmen massacre in 2020 and 2021, claiming concerns over coronavirus transmission for its actions. The event’s main organizers were detained in September under the city’s security legislation.

Disney+ debuted in Hong Kong on Nov. 16. The Financial Times determined the episode in question is only absent from the Hong Kong service; Disney+ is not available in China.

Photo: Disney.

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