Disney Bends to Chinese Censors, Drops 'Simpsons' Episode Over Reference to Slave Labor

Disney has removed an episode of The Simpsons from its streaming service in Hong Kong that referred to "forced labor camps" in China, The Financial Times reported Monday.

In the episode, which first aired in October under the name "One Angry Lisa," a character says: "Behold the wonders of China: Bitcoin mines, forced labor camps where children make smartphones."

The quote is a reference to China's mass incarceration of Uyghur Muslims in the country's Xinjiang region as part of an aggressive communist re-education program.

Numerous human rights reports have found evidence of Chinese authorities conducting slave labor, surveillance, rape, and forced sterilization, which investigators have concluded amount to crimes against humanity.

It is unclear when the episode was removed from Disney Plus in Hong Kong and the extent of pressure the company was put under. Both representatives for Disney and the region's Beijing-controlled authorities have so far declined to comment.

The removal of the episode takes place as China continues to solidify its control over the city, which was intended to be autonomous as part of the 1998 handover from the British Empire. 

It is not the first time that Disney has bent to Chinese censors. In 2021, the streaming service cut another episode entitled "Goo Goo Gai Pan" following a reference to Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, when Chinese state troops brutally gunned down unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators

Image: Title: The Simpsons China