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Television Japan

The Simpsons Reviewed For Unsuitable Nuclear Jokes 374

Hugh Pickens writes "CNN reports that television networks in several European countries are reportedly reviewing episodes of 'The Simpsons' for any 'unsuitable' references to nuclear disaster, with an Austrian network apparently pulling two episodes: 1992's 'Marge Gets a Job' and 2005's 'On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister,' which include jokes about radiation poisoning and nuclear meltdowns. Al Jean, executive producer of the show, says that he can appreciate the concern. '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,' says Jean, citing the example of the 1997 episode 'The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson' that was pulled after 9/11 because it included key scenes at the World Trade Center. 'We would never make light of what's happening in Japan.'"
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The Simpsons Reviewed For Unsuitable Nuclear Jokes

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  • radical news! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Odinlake ( 1057938 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @12:25AM (#35648662)
    radical news: someone behaved in a mature and sensible way!
    • I agree, Al Jean has a nice, calm answer. The issue I have is that European markets aren't in any danger from the damaged reactors, and only a very tiny fraction of them have family in the stricken area. If it was a Japanese broadcaster choosing to not air certain episodes, then that makes some sense. European stations doing it seems to be more a matter of being hyper-empathetic to people that aren't actually going to be watching the broadcast.

  • by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @12:27AM (#35648678)

    to make fun of it.
    This probably originated from /b/, but it had a macabre humour to it: (to the tune of spongebob squarepants' theme) "who lives in their houses under the sea?" "japanese people"

    • That's just it. This isn't about the simpsons making fun of what's happening in Japan now. It's become insensitive to broadcast a cartoon made more than 10 years ago, that made fun of a fictional nuclear power plant.

      And what's up with old shows not being shown, or even being censored of shots of the world trade towers? We're supposed to remember 9/11 and the towers crashing down, but forget they stood for 30 years?

      • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @01:25AM (#35649070)

        And what's up with old shows not being shown, or even being censored of shots of the world trade towers? We're supposed to remember 9/11 and the towers crashing down, but forget they stood for 30 years?

        The winners of history get to write it.

        Make your own conclusion who won...

        • Warrant-less wiretapping, data retention laws, continuous tracking of financial transactions, first amendment violated on a regular basis, Gitmo, ...

          Terrorists hate our freedoms, so we have to hollow them out wherever we can???

    • Doesn't fit. The chorus answer has one too many syllable in the first word to fit the meter. You'd have to find a two syllable (likely offensive) replacement, or abbreviate it like you have a speech impediment ( "jap'nese" ?) ... yea, I actually went there.

    • Spongebob already has been used during the BP oilspill. I'd think using an Anime intro would be much more fitting. There has to be some kind of post-apocalyptic Anime out there that would serve as a very well fitting theme song for this disaster...

  • Breaking Story: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by m_chan ( 95943 )
    Humor is rooted in pain and suffering. Story at 11. and 11. and 11.
  • I loved "The City of New York vs Homer Simpson". Great episode even after 9/11.

  • People are not able to sensor bad taste and content, jokes or editorial by themselves needing instead gov or industry to do it instead. That day appears to be yesterday, rest our heads in a moment of silence for that day wasted.
    • by mqduck ( 232646 )

      What would it mean for people to "sensor bad taste and content, jokes or editorial by themselves" in this context? Not watch those episodes when they come on because it's "too soon"? Yeah, that could work. Or TV stations could just, you know, play other episodes for a while.

  • It is not ok to joke about nuclear things, but it is ok to take nuclear waste home.
  • ...that "King Size Homer" will get pulled in some markets, which is unfortunate because it has one of the best lines [youtube.com] in any Simpsons episode.

  • Videogames (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pesticidal ( 1148911 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @01:01AM (#35648922)
    And S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Fallout are banned too.
    • just think of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games we can look forward to in 20-30 years! i propose the end-boss can be godzilla.

      Honestly though, i think its a bit over the top to go out of your way not to show certain episodes of the simpsons, it is a pretty lighthearted show, but if you want you can find offense in any episode. I guess any episode with cletus in it shouldnt be shown in half the states... or they better pull "who shot mister burns" in areas with high gun-violence stats

      Hell, i hope they dont show any e

  • by Grissnap ( 2028624 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @01:09AM (#35648972)
    I appreciate the sympathy, however misplaced it is. I get a bit angry when everyone focuses on the nuclear stuff going on. The whole nuclear thing will affect some people in Fukushima prefecture (mostly economically) and maybe some of the neighboring prefectures. Still let's look at things in perspective: 3 hospitalized (they are fine apart from some 'sunburn') from the Fukushima plant issue; over 20,000 missing or dead from the tsunami plus a multitude more homeless and hospitalized. We aren't suffering from nuclear fallout, people, we are suffering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit Japan in over 20 years. Still that is the nature of the beast, 20,000 is just too large a number for people to internalize and sympathize with. However, we can all imagine our gruesome death at the hand of deadly radiation. We all know that these episodes aren't being censored out of sympathy. I just hope they don't replace the episodes with a tsunami episode.
    • I wish I had mod points for you.

    • Some people just meltdown under the pressure...

      I mean buckle... Buckle!
    • Is that people fear radiation because it is the monsters of childhood imaginations made real. Deadly, invisible, unstoppable, and, well, evil (from their perspective). They don't understand it, they can't see how it works, yet it can kill. With an explosion, a fire, a wave, you see what is happening, what caused the damage, and you see the problem coming even if you can't avoid it. It is easily knowable and understandable.

      So because it is invisible and unknown (I mean to the people, not to everyone) it gene

    • they are fine apart from some 'sunburn'

      And you can say that because you inspected the DNA of every single cell of their body and you can't exclude that they will develop some form of cancer in the following years, of course.

      Otherwise you'd be offensive. Even as a long-term resident of Japan.

      However, we can all imagine our gruesome death at the hand of deadly radiation.

      Talking as a European, there's no need to imagine that, we still have vivid memories of the gruesome effects of radiation on people who worked to fix blown nuclear reactors. But, the last tsunami that hit my country was one hundred years ago. That's why peo

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:00AM (#35649808)

      There is a very simple reason for this: People don't care about people but themselves. A tsunami washing away a few thousand Japanese? Ffft. Big deal.

      A nuclear plant cooking off? OMFG! What if the death cloud comes over here!

      Do you think anyone worries about the Japanese people suffering from radiation there? People are worried about whether the radiation comes to them, that's all. Get used to it, nobody gives a damn about anyone but themselves. That tsunami is over and doesn't threaten anyone (outside of Japan, that is) anymore. That radiation could still be a problem outside of Japan. Hence the coverage of the nuclear plants and not the tsunami.

      • When filling up my water bottles at a local water filtering place here in Cali, the guy mentioned that all the iodine tablets were sold out.
        I was beside myself at how selfish and completely scared everyone is.
        Japan is 10+ hours by flight away... and folks here are spending money on iodine tablets because of the "radiation cloud". W. T. F.

  • This is ridiculous. The front page of my local newspaper (California, near the coast) is abuzz with "nyookulurr" concerns as well. Why don't they edit out the episodes having to do with, y'know, earthquakes and tsunamis, seeing as that's the brand of disaster Japan is facing right now. It seems to me that the situation with the power plants is being handled professionally and safely. If it wasn't for the public's irrational and uneducated fear of glowing green radioactivity, the nuclear power plants that we
  • Horrible (Score:3, Funny)

    by mqduck ( 232646 ) <mqduck@m q d u c k . net> on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @01:14AM (#35649010)

    This is horrible! It's not like there are many other Simpsons reruns they could show instead.

    • But these would be topical for a change! So many Simpsons reruns we've had lately deal with topics that are non-issues by now, from Clinton to dot.com.

  • I dont see how this is more painful than the media people trying to make money out of the situation.

  • Somehow, I feel the risk they try to avoid is making people think the nuclear plants are operated by "Simpson like" personnel. Meaning... a real good-bye to public being opened to even listen arguments about nuclear energy being needed.
    • Nuclear plants ARE operated by Simpsons like personnel. Think for a moment, who would work in such an environment if he could get ANY other job?

  • Editing out scenes that had the old WTC was stupid, and so is this.

    Stop being oversensitive nutless wonders and expecting others to be the same.

  • Are they also going back and wiping any reference to earthquakes and tsunamis? So far, tens of thousands have been confirmed to have died to those events, but we don't feel the need to be sensitive about that. But a nuclear accident that hasn't killed anyone is worth rewriting history of a comedy cartoon? It's not like the jokes were made at the expense of the current situation, being that they have existed for years.

    I never did understand the removal of the twin towers from things either. Do we really want to show our respect to those that passed by trying to erase any mention or footage of the buildings?

    • I never did understand the removal of the twin towers from things either. Do we really want to show our respect to those that passed by trying to erase any mention or footage of the buildings?

      It is sympathy for those who directly experienced the incidents. The towers only fell once. People have only been exposed to deadly amounts of radiation a handful of times in the last 100 years (more or less).

      As horrible as it is, people die in earthquakes and tsunamis regularly. It happens. And one incident doesn't necessarily evoke another. It's just part of life on Earth.

      I'm a reasonably well adjusted adult with a reasonably sane outlook on life, and I am glad that the WTC was erased from popu

  • Lisa (playing guitar):
    We'll fight day and night
    By the big cooling tower
    They have the plant,
    but we have the power

    Lenny: Now play classical gas!

  • Why do people complain about "offensive" material on Simpsons or Family Guy? That is (partially) what those shows are about. Over the years they've been offensive to Mormons, Unitarians, Hispanics, Texans, Single Dads, Republicans and probably every other niche group in the planet.

    I've watched Simpsons since it was a short on Tracey Ullman, and they have once offended me enough that I turned it off. In fact, I turned the TV off for the night and went in the other room. In syndication to this day that

    • Which episode was it that offended you so badly?
      • by Remloc ( 1165839 )
        It will probably burn karma, but Papa Don;t Leech [wikipedia.org]

        I helped found a non-profit to help divorced dads misjudged and considered "dead beat" when they are really "beat dead," so the scene where Homer meets Lurleen's Dad at the door and he offers to "Vodka up his Corn Flakes" then "Heroin up his Vodka" wearing a shirt saying "no child support" is making me uncomfortable even as I type this.

        I still love the Simpsons.

  • by XPulga ( 1242 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @01:59AM (#35649232) Homepage
    I'm willing to bet that some retarded german politician will see a relation between "Duke Nukem Forever" and nuclear power and issue a ban on it before it's even released.
  • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @02:25AM (#35649386)
    "Pepe, It's not nuclear, it's nucular." - Homer Simpson
  • by VMaN ( 164134 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @02:27AM (#35649396) Homepage

    I feel i need to even things out, so here is a Simpsons clip with the irradiated Curies destroying a Japanese looking city.


  • What does a cartoon show have to do with real life? Nothing. People get offended by something that doesn't affect them yet again, and it is their own fault. The fact that something similar happened in real life does not mean that the joke is not 'funny' (subjective) or that it's 'bad' (subjective). It's irrelevant. People should, in my opinion, focus on real life, not on cartoons. I don't care if it's a joke about 9/11 or what have you. It is illogical to censor it. It has no affect on real life.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:46AM (#35650008) Homepage Journal

    If Fox ever decides to finish The Simpsons I can't think of a better way than destroying Springfield with an earthquake, a tsunami and a meltdown, all in one episode.

  • by Combatso ( 1793216 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:50AM (#35651516)
    Becuase at the start he throws the nuclear fuel rod in to the street
  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @09:43AM (#35652168) Journal
    I'm surprised there is no reference to 1995's "King-Size Homer", [wikipedia.org] in which Mr. Burns rewards Homer saying, "you turned a potential Chernobyl in to a mere Three Mile Island."
  • "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger