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International News Nov 28, 2021 4:23 PM EST

Disney+ removes Simpsons episode in Hong Kong over Tiananmen Square massacre references

The episode features at least two references to the massacre, including an allusion to the famous "Tank Man" photo, and a shot of a plaque that reads, "Tien An Men Square: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened."

Disney+ removes Simpsons episode in Hong Kong over Tiananmen Square massacre references
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Disney+ subscribers have found at least one episode of The Simpsons popular animated series has been removed from the newly-launched streaming platform for Hong Kong viewers over references to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

According to CBR, Season 16, Episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan" of The Simpsons features at least two references to the 1989 massacre in China, including an allusion to the famous "Tank Man" photo, and a shot of a cartoon plaque that reads, "Tien An Men Square: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened," mocking the Chinese Communist Party's censorship of the fatal event.

Hong Kong residents would commemorate the massacre yearly with a candlelight vigil on June 4, organized by the now-disbanded student group Hong Kong Alliance, which was forced to cease operations due to the draconian passing of Hong Kong's national security law on June 30, 2020. In 2021, Victoria Park, where the vigil is traditionally held, was quiet, as police cracked down on the gathering.

The national security law was passed to bring Hong Kong, an area that had been semi-autonomous after Britain handed the region over to China in 1997, under more direct control of the Chinese Communist Party.

Disney+ was launched in Hong Kong on Nov. 16. Some content on the video on-demand platform has sparked outrage either within China due to depictions of Tiananmen Square or other heavily-censored topics, or outside of the country, due to the company's compliance with the CCP's demands.

When Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings launched on the platform, a single shot containing the numbers "8964" reportedly caused outrage, due to those numbers' link to the date of the massacre.

The filming of Mulan created outrage across the globe, after it was revealed that portions of the movie were filmed in the Xinjiang region, where the Muslim minority Uyghur people are subjected to human rights abuses from the Chinese government. The film also credits and thanks CCP authorities for reportedly letting them film there near the site of Muslim concentration camps.

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