Bart Simpson, Barbie banned in Iran

2012-02-06 21:29

Tehran - The Simpsons are corroding the morals of Iranian youth, an official said on Monday, as dolls based on Bart, Homer and the rest of the American cartoon family joined the shapely Barbie among Western toys targeted by a new crackdown in Tehran.

"The Simpsons dolls are merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America," Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, whose agency oversees what Iranian children can play with, told the Sharq newspaper.

He did not elaborate on what episodes might have been censored elsewhere.

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

Though Iran's economy is labouring under Western sanctions against its nuclear programme, foreign goods, including genuine and counterfeit toys like Barbie and the Simpsons, are widely sold.

Merchants say new efforts to implement bans that have been in place before mean the merchandise is getting harder to obtain from wholesalers and shops prefer not to display the wares.

The Islamic Republic's morality police, fighting "Western intoxication" as the dispute over nuclear technology has raised fears of war, last month went on a drive against Barbie.

The American doll's full figure and revealing wardrobe particularly offend Iran's leaders, who decree that women must be fully swathed in loose-fitting clothes in public. "Imports of all kinds of dolls that display full adult figures are banned because they promote Western culture," Farjoo said.

It was not clear in what regard the irreverent Simpsons family had offended Iranian regulations - most versions of the cartoon dolls are hardly anatomically accurate.

However, while Farjoo said that all-American super-heroes like Superman and Spiderman were still welcome in Iran - because they do battle for the oppressed - the values of the Simpsons, a famously self-centred and irreligious bunch, were not.

Their popularity in Iran is hard to gauge; those with access to foreign satellite channels are familiar with the Fox Television cartoon.

But it is not shown in Iran, relieving local networks of finding a translation for Bart Simpson's singular response to tiresome instructions of all kinds: "Eat my shorts!"

  • Cracker - 2012-02-06 21:41

    What can one add except to once again caution against the religious mind. Is it the type of environment one wishes for? Closer to home, the same mentality at work in the objection to the rest of us to read, watch, enjoy what we like.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-07 05:29

      This pretty well encapsulates all the reasons I hate religion. At the end of the day, it's all ugly, petty, mean-spirited, inhumane tripe.

  • Barefoot - 2012-02-06 22:02

    mmmmh Simpsons duh why ban it really?

      Godfrey - 2012-02-07 05:32

      It is easy to understand their unhappiness with Barbie - they hate and are frightened of women - especially if you can see their ankles.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-06 22:10

    From what I here, so is Jesus Christ, so to hell with IRAN and amenabobwhatevahisnameis, and the ayatollah, Jihad on them

      Michael - 2012-02-06 22:54


      Godfrey - 2012-02-07 05:33

      The fun loving Iranians and their ever smiling Ayatollahs.

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-07 04:36

    So Homer is still ok then? "I've always wondered if there was a god. And now I know there is -- and it's me."- Homer Simpson "Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done." - Homer Simpson "Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder" - Homer Simpson's version of Pascal's Wager You make people miserable and there's nothing they can do about it, just like god. - Homer Simpson

  • CJ CJ - 2014-11-22 10:02

    At least they can still watch Beavis and Buthead.

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