We have seen various countries carry out censorship functions for various governments, including social media countries. Now the Simpsons have been “disappeared” in an episode that acknowledged the Tiananmen Square massacre. China blocks any mention of the massacre so Disney willingly became an extension of its massive censorship bureaucracy.
I recently discussed the decision of the W.H.O. to skip the letter “xi” in naming its new COVID-19 variant, which it dubbed the “omicron” variant. While the organization insisted that it was only avoiding “causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups,” it was an effort to avoid embarrassment to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xi has been accused of covering up the outbreak in Wuhan and also ordering the cover-up of evidence related to the emergence of the virus (including the possible release from a government lab). W.H.O. took the action after global criticism for its fawning treatment of China in the investigation of the virus.
The decision by Disney made a mockery of the words of its founder, Walt Disney: “Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.”
The missing episode in the 16th season was noticed by people in China. The season jumps from episode 11 to 13. Episode 12? It was a 2005 episode where Homer takes his family to China, where they visit Tiananmen Square and come across a placard that reads: “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened.”
Disney may now adopt the same approach and, when you download Episode 12, it will simply say, “In this episode, nothing happened.”