News Russian Network Cancels Airing of The Simpsons' Episode Featuring Pokémon After Church Criticism
posted on 2017-05-05 15:30 EDT
Last Sunday's episode of The Simpsons, titled "Looking for Mr. Goodbart," faced criticism from the Russian Orthodox Church due to its content, and Russian TV network 2x2 has decided to cancel the episode's airing, saying "it could compromise the network and cause controversy."
The episode features a smartphone game named "Peekimon Get," a reference to Niantic's Pokémon Go game. The episode contains a scene where Homer walks into a church while playing the game and looking for "Peekimons."
Archpriest Andrei Novikov commented on the episode, saying that the episode is "Hollywood propaganda," and called for "more control over media products."
In Russia, blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky is currently facing trial for charges of "incitement to hatred and attacks on the liberty of faith." The blogger posted a video last August showing him playing Pokémon Go inside the Church of All Saints. If convicted, he faces up to seven-and-a-half years in prison, though Russian prosecutors requested a 3.5-year sentence. The trial concluded in last month, and the judge said the verdict will be issued on May 11.
The Pokémon Go app launched in select countries including the United States on July 6, and has since launched in more than 50 countries. The game recently held an egg-themed event for Easter.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Vladimir Koslov)