D’oh! Iran Bans The Simpsons In Fight Against “Western Intoxication”

By: EW News Desk Team   Date: 7 February 2012

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07 February 2012

Iran has banned all forms of merchandise related to the popular cartoon series The Simpsons in the country, claimed a report by Reuters on Monday, with the cartoon family joining Barbie as the latest American pop culture icon targeted by the nation’s morality police.

"We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys," said Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, whose full title in the government is the Secretary for Policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran.

According to Farjoo, the values promoted on the television show reflected all the negative elements of western culture, particularly as numerous episodes often portrayed anti-religious and individualistic themes. 

“Some episodes (of the Simpsons) are even banned in Europe and America," declared Farjoo, whose agency also banned Barbie dolls in Iran country last month after claiming that that the popular toy had “destructive cultural and social consequences.”

Related: Iran’s Latest Adversary: Barbie Dolls

According to Reuters, the Islamic Republic's morality police have been going into overdrive in recent months to fight "Western intoxication" as the dispute between the country and the rest of world over nuclear technology continued to raise fears of war.

But Farjoo insists that his agency were not targeting all Western toys, but rather just those with negative values; noting that toys of other American pop culture icons such as Superman and Spiderman were still available in stores across the country.

"Though they (Superman and Spiderman) are dolls and characters in American films, they help oppressed people and they have a positive stance,” Farjoo said, as cited by the Los Angeles Times.

Western toys are a popular commodity in Iran, with many young people following Western culture avidly and often obtaining illegal products on the black market.

In 2011, Iran imported $57 million worth of toys. Officials believe some $20 million more worth of toys were smuggled across the border in the same year.

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