China Forces Disney to Remove ‘Simpsons’ Content From Disney+

in Disney, Featured, Hong Kong Disneyland

Image from the removed Simpson's episode

Credit: Disney

As international censorship is on the rise, China forced Disney to remove Simpsons content from the streaming platform. The reason why is nothing short of alarming.

It’s no secret that the Disney+ platform is home to a host of subversive content. That’s the nature of entertainment. That doesn’t mean that its content reflects the values of different countries and continents.

Now, Disney’s an international company with theme parks across the globe and an expansive streaming network. That makes it a target for everything from class actions to extreme censorship, regardless of the company’s official stance on any given topic.

Picture before choosing to remove Simpsons content Hong Kong Disneyland
Credit: Disney

The law of the land means limiting that content, even when fans don’t agree. To remove Simpsons content is a shock because it adds weight to the global scope of the matter.

Disney has a strong presence in Hong Kong, but recently, tech giants and the services they bring, are moving out of this area. Effectively, it puts technical limits on Hong Kong, the likes of which are similar to North Korea and mainland China.

China Makes Disney Choose to Remove Simpsons Content

Yet the reason for the censorship is clear. The Simpsons episode that disappeared happened to involve some hard-hitting content: the satirizing of Chinese forced labor camps.

remove Simpsons content Simpsons episode satire on forced labor camps in China as censorship makes Simpsons episodes disappear
Credit: Disney

There’s been more contest to the decision to remove Simpsons content from Disney at important times. When the streaming service launched in Hong Kong, but it forgot something important: the episode about Tiananmen Square.

In an age of information sharing and equality, the spirit of inclusion that Disney espouses seems lost in some areas. China’s censorship is ongoing, and the choice to remove Simpsons content isn’t the start or the end of it.

remove Simpsons content Hong Kong: Disney + censors a Simpsons episode set in Tiananmen
Credit: Disney

Restrictions aren’t exclusive to the movies, though. Disneyland Shanghai and Disneyland Hong Kong both limit and focus on the company’s intellectual property to reinforce the censorship principles.

The argument is whether something is better than nothing. Does the fact that Disney+ offers streaming in Hong Kong outweigh the hypocrisy of its censorship? Or does the fact that it continues business in these locations show how truly pernicious censorship is?

It’s up to each individual to determine the line between business and humanity.

What do you think about the Simpsons episode’s disappearances? Justified censorship or a wrong side of history? Share your ideas with Inside the Magic—be part of the conversation.

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