We all know that the Walt Disney Company prefers to stray away from controversy. It has been recently announced that Disney’s streaming platform has made the bold decision to ban an episode of a top-rated show from being viewed in China. Based on the episode’s sensitive content, this decision was made to prevent outcry from China. This is not the first time Disney has banned content in China, and the public has mixed feelings about this decision.
Disney Censors Sensitive Content
In today’s world, large companies like Disney will do whatever it takes to avoid negative press. This includes banning episodes entirely if it is deemed too controversial for Disney. While some support Disney’s decision to remain neutral worldwide, others criticize the company for censoring what they think are important messages.
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The latest case of censoring happened when Disney pulled an episode of The Simpsons off their streaming platform. The Simpsons is a show known for its dark humor and controversial plotlines. The episode in question is one that aired in October of 2022 that includes a line about “forced labor camps” in mainland China. Disney deemed this topic too sensitive for audiences in China and banned the episode from viewing altogether.
This is not the first time that Disney has banned an episode of The Simpsons in China. In November of 2021, Disney+ also banned another episode that talked about Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen Square was the site of a pro-democracy protest in 1989 that turned incredibly violent.
The Public’s Feelings on the Episode Bans
While many understand and support Disney’s decision to pull the episodes from Disney+ in China, some people are more critical of the streaming giant. Many believe that Disney needs to stand up to injustices done by the Chinese government and refuse to play a role in the country’s extreme censorship policies.
The censorship policy in question is a national security law that was enacted in Hong Kong in 2020. This law bans “sedition, succession, and subversion” against Beijing.
As of now, Disney and the Hong Kong government have not responded with a comment.