‘Simpsons’ Episode Pulled from Disney+ Hong Kong for Chinese Labor Camps Joke

An episode of FOX’s record-breaking animated sitcom The Simpsons has reportedly been removed from the Disney+ platform in Hong Kong. The Season 34 installment, “One Angry Lisa,” includes a scene where Marge quips: “Behold the wonders of China: bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones.” Mainland China forbids foreign-owned streaming services from operating in the country.

The Financial Times reported the episode’s absence, saying it was unclear exactly when it was taken down, by whom or on whose insistence. The outlet also noted that an earlier Simpsons episode, “Goo Goo Gai Pain” (2005), was removed from Disney+ in Hong Kong in 2021. That episode references the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, discussion of which is suppressed in Chinese media.

“One Angry Lisa” premiered in October 2022, directed by Matthew Nastuk (who has been directing on the show since Season 10) and written by Jessica Conrad, who was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for her work on the animated series and previously won as part of the Saturday Night Live team, as well as receiving multiple Emmy nominations.

In the episode, Marge (voiced by Julie Kavner in the English version) joins an exercise bike group and becomes infatuated with her instructor Jesse (Hank Azaria), enraging Homer (Dan Castellaneta). Meanwhile, Lisa (Yeardley Smith) is summoned to jury duty and discovers how erroneous the process in court is. Jane Kaczmarek guest stars as Judge Constance Harm.

China denies human rights abuses or the existence of forced labor camps; the U.S. accuses the Xi regime of operating such camps as part of a possible genocide against the Uyghur minority ethnic group. According to a May 2022 report by the BBC, human rights groups believe more than 1 million Uyghurs have been detained in Xinjiang. China asserts the network of facilities are “re-education camps” to combat terrorism.

[Source: The Financial Times via Deadline]



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