The Simpsons’ Nuclear Jokes Edited Out

'The Simpsons' PR Shot
Courtesy of Fox

In light of the Japan crisis, episodes of the show that joke about nuclear meltdowns are being pulled in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

German Television has put a moratorium on meltdowns in The Simpsons.

Reacting to the real-life nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan, Pro7, the channel that airs The Simpsons in Germany, will be screening current and future episodes of the show and remove or replace any that feature a disaster at Mr. Burns' nuclear power plant. Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper reports that networks in Austria and Switzerland have followed suit.

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Austria's ORF has already pulled two episodes set to broadcast:  Episode 66, Marge Gets a Job, which features scientists Marie Curie and Pierre Curie dying of radiation poisoning; and Episode 346, On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister, in which characters joke about a nuclear meltdown. Tagesspeigel says ORF has held back eight Simpsons episodes until the end of April, when it will review its Springfield disaster policy.

So far, neither Pro7 nor Swiss network SF have pulled any Simpsons episodes but both channels say they are screening shows for "unsuitable" references to nuclear disaster.

But the danger of nuclear power is a core theme on the long-running cartoon. The Simpson's opening sequence features Homer tossing a radioactive fuel rod out of his car on the way home. The first Simpson shorts aired on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, just one year after the Chernobyl disaster.