Simpsons” declares war after Iran bans its dolls

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Homer Simpson Doll

Homer Simp­son Doll

The heat is on after an Iran­ian government-affiliated agency added dolls of Simp­sons char­ac­ters to its black­list of toys.

This means war!” exclaimed long­time Simp­sons exec­u­tive pro­ducer Al Jean when asked to com­ment on the development.

Inde­pen­dent Iran­ian news­pa­per Shargh reported Mon­day that Homer and fam­ily were banned “because these dolls are pro­mot­ers of West­ern culture.”

We do not want to pro­mote this car­toon by import­ing the toys,” the daily quoted Moham­mad Hos­sein Far­joo, sec­re­tary of policy-making at the Insti­tute for the Intel­lec­tual Devel­op­ment of Chil­dren and Young Adults, as saying.

Far­joo would not say specif­i­cally what was wrong with the Simp­sons. How­ever, he pointed out, dolls of adults are banned in gen­eral, as are dolls on which gen­i­tals are distinguishable.

In addi­tion, toys with speak­ers that emit the voices of West­ern singers are pro­scribed as are toy kitchen sets that include glasses for drink­ing alco­holic beverages.

How­ever, dolls of Super­man and Spider-Man and Super­man are per­mit­ted for sale. “Though they are dolls and char­ac­ters in Amer­i­can films, they help oppressed peo­ple and they have a pos­i­tive stance,” he said.

The same agency called Bar­bie dolls a “Tro­jan horse” in 1996. Police said in Jan­u­ary that they closed down dozens of toy shops for sell­ing Barbies.

Iran imported $57 mil­lion worth of toys last year. Offi­cials that that about $20 mil­lion more worth of toys were smug­gled across the bor­der that same year.

One-quarter of Iran’s pop­u­la­tion of 75 mil­lion is under 15 years of age.

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