Local media in Hong Kong reports that "Goo Goo Gai Pan," an episode during the Simpsons 16th season in 2005, cannot be reached in the area.
In the 2005 episode, 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 sharp joke about the 1989 event where pro-democracy protestors met for several months.
The cancellation is yet another time The Simpsons prophesied the future.
According to various reports, the 12th episode of season 16 of "The Simpsons" is not available in the Disney + lineup for customers in Hong Kong.
The Chinese government has heavily censored the incident, and it is expected that most Chinese citizens do not know about the event.
That has not prevented residents of Hong Kong from bracing the memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Several residents of the once-British colony have kept museums and vigils for the incident despite police cracking down on such gatherings.
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.
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it was reverted to Chinese rule under a "one country, two systems" governance policy, limiting Hong Kong's independence from Chinese intervention.
Chinese officials from Beijing have started tearing down that limited independence, claiming it has "comprehensive jurisdiction" over the territory. This involves the censorship of media that is critical of the Chinese government.
While streaming platforms are not included in the most recent film censorship amendment raised by Hong Kong, China's National Security Law lets the Chinese government censor anything it defines as "terrorism, subversion, secession, and collusion with foreign forces."
Neither Disney (DIS) nor China responded to a request for comment about why the episode is unavailable. It's unclear whether China is blocking the episode in question or if Disney has chosen not to air it there.