The Simpsons episode with Tiananmen Square joke missing from Disney+ in China

An episode of The Simpsons that pokes fun at the Tiananmen Square massacre is reportedly banned from the Disney+ streaming service in Hong Kong.

Viewers noticed that episode 12 of Season 16 is missing after the platform launched over there earlier this month, the BBC reports.

The episode, named "Goo Goo Gai Pan", sees the cartoon family visit Tiananmen Square, Bejing where a sign reads: "On this site, in 1989, nothing happened."

It's a nod to the events of June 1989, when demonstrators calling for greater political freedom were fired on by soldiers who killed an undetermined number of unarmed civilians in the square, estimated to have ranged from hundreds to thousands.

In another part of the episode, the Simpsons also visit the embalmed body of former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, whom Homer refers to as "a little angel that killed 50 million people".

Mao led China through the notorious Cultural Revolution and a devastating famine that killed many millions of people.

Disney has been contacted by the Daily Star regarding the missing episode, but they have not commented to other platforms at the time of writing.

It is not clear why the episode is missing and who made the decision not to include it on the streaming service.

However, the news comes as Hong Kong clamping down on the entertainment industry, banning films that violate a strict national security law.

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Among the new measures are new censorship laws that forbid any broadcasts that might breach a broad national security law and censors have since ordered directors to make cuts and refused permission for some films to be shown to the public.

Last week Hong Kong’s Beijing-appointed leader, Carrie Lam, vowed to “proactively plug loopholes” in the city’s internet and introduce “fake news” regulations, the Guardian reports.

Her comments have added to concerns that China’s “Great Firewall” – a sprawling internet and news censorship regime – could be extended to Hong Kong.

Content that satirises China is still available on other streaming platforms in Hong Kong.

Netflix’s Hong Kong channel is currently still showing Band in China, an episode of the cartoon series South Park.

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