Streaming platform Disney+ was launched in Hong Kong this month, but something is missing. To be specific, it is episode 12 of season 16 of the beloved cartoon The Simpsons. In the episode, the Simpsons go to China and visit Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In the square stands a sign saying “on this site, in 1989, nothing happened”. These satirical and politically engaged jokes are the reason we love the Simpsons.
But it doesn’t take much for the Chinese Communist Party to be offended. With the censorship of Homer Simpson, Hong Kong is starting to look more and more like mainland China when it comes to freedom of expression.
The clampdown on dissent in Hong Kong has been making the headlines for a long time.
If now even American cartoons from 2005 are considered dangerous and subversive, we should brace ourselves for more to come.