The US produces hundreds of shows each year, and many of them end up far away from home in Asia, Africa, Europe, and probably even on the South Pole, although it’s not a country, but you get the gist. Those seemingly harmless movies and TV shows can be viewed by some people as offensive. Sometimes it’s the core concept, other times — it’s about cultural differences, and then there’s a simple conflict of interests.
Whatever the reasons may be, here are eight controversial TV shows banned in other countries.
1. The Big Bang Theory
China has closed its doors to countless American movies and shows due to potential “propaganda” of free-thinking, democracy, and other liberal values. But it wasn’t any of those reasons when it came to shutting down The Big Bang Theory in 2014. At least not according to the official version. So why was such a popular sitcom pulled from the streaming services in China? They didn’t want their people to look at the likes of Leonard, Penny, and Mr. Bazinga and think that it’s okay to be a loser.
2. The Simpsons
Today, many fans of the Simpsons have forsaken the show, myself included. It used to be fresh and fun but has turned into this bland wax copy of its former self. Can you believe they used to have edgy themes in the Simpsons? Feels like a lifetime ago. Either way, those edgy themes ruffled the feathers of quite a few countries resulting in taking certain episodes off the air, but in 2008, the show was outright banned in Venezuela. Why? For being too adult. Here’s the kicker: it was replaced with Baywatch. Yeah, talk about family-friendly content!
3. Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold!is a classic 90s cartoon with its goofy style and very relatable teen drama. Why would anyone want to deprive their kids of this beautiful gem? Well, Kenya’s Film Classification Board doesn’t seem to care about their younglings because, according to their statement, there’s too much talk about kissing. What the board has forgotten was that the kids would not notice any of those things because they are kids.
4. Doctor Who
And we’re back to China. For some, assumingly logical reason, China has decided that the subject of time travel on TV needs to be eradicated. And so the big titles like X-Files and Star Trek got the short end of the stick. In 2011, the ban hammer struck even harder, hitting everyone’s beloved time lord — Doctor Who. And the very “logical reason” I’ve mentioned earlier was “frivolous interpretation of historical events.” Apparently, everything needs to be a documentary in China.
After 23 years of relentless Pokemon adventures, we’ve seen many episodes getting banned worldwide for various reasons. That Porygon seizure episode still haunts every parent’s nightmares, but something even worse happened in Turkey. According to the news, after watching Pokemon on TV, two kids, ages 4 and 7, for some unexplained reason through “hey, we got superpowers, let’s jump off a balcony!” Luckily they survived the mishap, but the Turkish government decided not to take any chances. But we all know it was the parents’ fault, right?
6. Peppa Pig
For such a completely harmless kids cartoon to get banned it must have done something really terrible. And one could argue that it did. Peppa is normally a very easy-going piece of bacon, but she’s not too bright in the noggin. The show was banned after an episode where Peppa teaches children to not be scared of spiders and other bugs. For the rest of the world, if you find a spider, you shouldn’t worry too much, but in Australia, getting friendly with the 8-legged critter may result in your death. Especially if you’re a child.
7. Winnie the Pooh
And for the grand finale, we got the most harmless cartoon of all time — Winnie the Pooh. It doesn’t have any time travel, nor is it liberal propaganda of any kind, so what’s up with it? The main character — Winnie the Pooh, and Chinese President Xi Jinping have more in common than one of them would care to admit. After Xi Jinping has been portrayed as the Pooh on countless Internet sites, he’s been trying to erase the animated bear from the minds of his citizens. Has Xi Jinping never heard of the Barbara Streisand effect? What a shame.