DHARAMSALA, 7 Feb: American multinational, mass media and entertainment conglomerate, Walt Disney Company has cut an entire episode from the Simpsons as it bows to China again.
Disney has cut an episode from The Simpsons that contains a reference to ‘forced labour camps’ in China from its streaming service in Hong Kong, media reports said.
‘One Angry Lisa’, episode two of season 34 from Disney’s hit cartoon series, The Simpson, is not available on the US company’s Disney Plus streaming service in Hong Kong, Reuters reported.
According to media reports, the absence of the episode produced by the 20th Television Animation which is owned by Disney and first aired in October on television was first reported by the Financial Times.
However, it has not been established when it was removed from the Hong Kong service.
In the episode, the character Marge Simpson is shown images of China’s Great Wall during an exercise class as her instructor says: ‘Behold the wonders of China: bitcoin mines, forced labour camps where children make smartphones.’
This marks the second time that Disney has removed an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ from Hong Kong.
In 2021, Disney removed an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ that referred to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown when it first launched its Disney Plus service in Hong Kong.
The Simpsons is now in its 34th season with 740 episodes released.
Disney Plus streaming services is an American subscription video-on-demand over-the-top streaming service owned and operated by the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company.
Launched in November 2019, Disney Plus has now 14.4 million paid subscribers in the last quarter and even overtook its rival Netflix in August last year.
In Sept. 2020, a global group of political leaders expressed concern over an apparent widespread system of forced labour in Tibet perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China and urged their respective governments and the UN to take immediate action to condemn these atrocities and to prevent further human rights abuses.
China has long maintained that the detention camps equipped with a high-tech network of surveillance systems are necessary to counter Islamic extremism in East Turkistan but the findings of the UN report in August last year suggest otherwise.
China is said to have begun the construction of a huge network of detention camps in the northwest of Uighur in 2017.
The UN experts and activists estimate that at least one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in the detention centres in East Turkistan, Beijing maintains that the camps are voluntary education and training centres.
Meanwhile, the US, UK, Dutch, Canada and several other countries have previously declared that China is committing genocide, the most heinous of crimes against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities.