By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business
Fans have noticed that an episode of the Simpsons that features a scene in Tiananmen Square is missing from Disney+ in Hong Kong.
In the 2005 episode “Goo Goo Gai Pan,” the family travels to China to adopt a baby. The Simpsons clan stops in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square where they find a sign that says, “On this site, in 1989, nothing happened,” a biting joke about the 1989 event where pro-democracy protestors gathered for several months.
The erasure is yet another time the Simpsons predicted the future.
According to multiple reports, that 12th episode of season 16 of “The Simpsons” is not available in the Disney+ lineup for customers in Hong Kong.
Neither Disney nor China responded to CNN Business’ request for comment about why the episode is unavailable. It’s unclear if China is blocking the episode in question or if Disney has chosen not to air the episode there.
Hong Kong’s Bureau of Commerce and Economic Development said in a statement published by the New York Times that its recently enacted censorship ordinance applies to movies and not streaming services, like Disney+.
China has regularly censored media, and companies that operate within the country are forced to censor search results for Chinese users — particularly images and information about the Tiananmen Square protests and the killings that ensued.
The Chinese government has worked hard to restrict images and reports of the 1989 event, considering it a threat to the legitimacy of its continued one-party rule.
Many were killed on June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands. The massacre made headlines around the world — as did iconic images such as “Tank Man” defying the troops on the square.
Hong Kong historically has had more artistic freedom than mainland China. In recent years, China has cracked down on content under a 2020 National Security Law that criminalized acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.
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