(New York, NY) — Today PEN America decried Disney’s decision to remove an episode of The Simpsons that mocks Chinese government censorship from their streaming service in Hong Kong. 

“Disney’s decision to remove the Tiananmen Square episode of the Simpsons from view in Hong Kong is yet another distressing sign that some of the United State’s most significant companies will uphold their commitment to freedom of expression only when it is politically convenient for them to do so. What’s perhaps most concerning is the implication, reported by the New York Times, that Disney may have preemptively self-censored the episode even without being asked to by Chinese officials. This type of preemptive self-censorship represents the end-game of all censors: to have the targets of censorship police themselves,” said James Tager, director of research at PEN America.