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'Simpsons' to Iran: 'This means war!'

February 6, 2012 |  4:24 pm

Simpsons-iran1

Iran is banning the sale of all "Simpsons" toys within its borders, but the long-running Fox animated series isn't just rolling over.

When asked to comment on the news, longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean had just one thing to say: "This means war!"

The independent Iranian newspaper, Shargh, reported on Monday that a governmental agency, the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, had placed the "Simpsons" merchandise on a toy blacklist alongside Barbie for promoting Western culture.

Other Western pop culture icons such as Superman and Spider-Man were allowed to be sold in the country because they help the "oppressed."

According to the Associated Press, the institute's secretery of policymaking, Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, said that any doll that had distinguishable adult genitals, or any dolls of adults at all, were banned "because these dolls are promoters of Western culture."

Superman and Spider-Man got a pass because "though they are dolls and characters in American films, they help oppressed people and they have a positive stance."

"The Simpsons," which has been on the air since 1989, is rapidly approaching its 500th episode, to be aired on Feb. 19. (For that milestone episode they're featuring the guest voice of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Though awaiting a ruling from Britain's Supreme Court on the legality of an arrest warrent issued by Sweden in a sexual molestation case, Assange has long fashioned himself as a defender of the oppressed.)

In the meantime, the world will have to sit tight while "The Simpsons" formulates its counterattack.

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— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Homer Simpson. Credit: Fox.

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