Earlier this month, Disney+ launched in Hong Kong, bringing hundreds of movies and thousands of television episodes from Disney’s studios to the region.
According to multiple reports, the 12th episode of season 16 of “The Simpsons”, called “Goo Goo Gai Pan,” is missing from Disney+ in Hong Kong. The episode hasn’t been removed from Disney+ in other countries.
This episode originally aired in 2005 and sees the family travelling to China to adopt a baby, where they stop by Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where they find a sign that says, “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened”.
On June 4th, 1989, there was a student uprising at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which saw hundreds, possibly thousands of protesters killed. The event is most well known for a photo of a man carrying his groceries standing in front of the Chinese Armies tank to try to block them.
The events of that day are heavily censored within mainland China, and it is estimated many people within China have no knowledge of what actually happened there.
It’s been 25 years since control Britain returned control of Hong Kong to China, which runs under a scheme known as ‘one country, two systems’. Recently, China has been trying to make changes to Hong Kong, especially with regards to censorship, which has led to many protests within Hong Kong.
It’s not clear if the Chinese government has enforced the removal of the specific episode or if Disney decided not to include the episode when it launched Disney+ in Hong Kong.
In a statement published by the New York Times, Hong Kong’s Bureau of Commerce and Economic Development said that the new censorship ordinance applies to movies and not streaming services, like Disney+.
Since Disney+ launched, the streaming service has been subject to many controversies over censorship, including digitally editing Daryl Hannah’s bum in Splash, adding advisory notes to classic films and removing swear words from Hamilton.
Disney has also had issues with the Chinese government with some of its recent movie releases, including “Mulan” and “Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings”.
What do you think of Disney not including this episode of “The Simpsons” on Disney+ in Hong Kong?