Disney+ has censored an episode of The Simpsons in Hong Kong, where the streaming service recently launched. The episode was censored over references to the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Until June last year, Hong Kong operated separately from China. Hong Kongers enjoyed more freedoms than the mainland.
However, since Beijing enforced the national security law in Hong Kong, the censorship laws enforced in China started applying on the island.
On social media, Disney+ subscribers began reporting that an episode in Season 16 had been removed in Hong Kong.
We’ve managed to confirm that the Season 16 episode “Goo Goo Gai Pan” has been removed in Hong Kong.
The episode had two references to the Tiananmen Square massacre. It featured the famous Tank Man Photo and a plaque with the statement “Tien An Men Square: On this site, in 1989, nothing happened.” People often use the statement to mock the government’s attempts to erase the event from history.
In China references to the Tiananmen Square massacre are heavily censored and is called the “Tiananmen Square Incident.”
On June 4, 1989, in an effort to stop a protest by students about corruption in the government and democratic reforms, the Chinese government sent the army to Tiananmen Square with tanks. The exact death toll from the clash between protesters and the army has never been released, although it is speculated to be in the thousands.
Before the enforcement of the national security law, Hong Kongers held vigils to commemorate the incident every year. The Hong Kong government went as far as shutting down a museum that displayed exhibits to commemorate the event.