Syndicated Simpsons Episodes Pulled Over Nuclear Jokes
(Entertainment Weekly) ~ Japan's radiological disaster have led at least one Canadian broadcaster to pull episodes of 'The Simpsons' because of jokes about nuclear power.
Troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have promted OMNI Television to pull syndicated episodes of the animated comedy, which it airs in its 6:00pm weekday slot. Spokeswoman Koreen Ott said, “we’re reviewing our inventory for any further sensitive episodes.” She would not comment on which particular episodes had been pulled, but added that a list of questionable episodes was provided by Fox, parent network for the show.
OMNI Television is not alone; stations in Europe are also pulling nuclear-related episodes; Austrian ORF Network has already pulled two shows from it's rotation. Those two shows were "Marge Gets A Job", which features scientists Marie and Pierre Curie turning into zombies after being exposed to radiation, and "On A Clear Day I Can't See My Sister" in which jokes are made about a nuclear meltdown. Global TV, which also air reruns of the comedy, has not confirmed if it has pulled any episodes. Comedy Central stated, in an e-mail, that they have no plans to schedule either of those two shows at this time. The list of questionable episodes has been distributed to all US Fox affiliate stations, and it is up to the station's discretion as to whether or not to air them.
Show producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly he understand if some episodes are yanked in light of current, real life tragedy in Japan. He said “We have 480 episodes, and if there are a few that they don't want to air for awhile in light of the terrible thing going on, I completely understand that”.
This isn't the first time 'The Simpsons' have been excluded from airplay because it poked fun at real-life occurrences. A station in Australia dropped an episode which was to air this month due to tsunami satire, and shortly after September 11th, 2001 an episode where Homer goes to New York was omitted because it showed the World Trade Center.