Hugo vs Homer

The SimpsonsThe Simpsons has been taken off Venezuelan television. Is this because the regime doesn’t like the programme, or because they just don’t get it, asks Daniel Duquenal

In the latest media silliness from Venezuela, censors have asked TV station Televen to remove the Simpsons from its late morning schedule. The organisation in charge of monitoring the quality and suitability of Venezuelan TV, CONATEL, not only told Televen to suspend the programme, but it might actually fine them: according to the law (Ley Resorte), the network should have known better.

Before I discuss this further I must state that I am not a great fan of the Simpsons and I only ever watch it for lack of anything else catching my attention. I do this through Fox, which gives me the original version, in English. But in Venezuela Fox is on cable, and from now on it seems that Simpsons fan will have to subscribe to cable if they want to keep watching their show. Through Televen they got it free; now they will have to pay for it. Cable, though, is expensive, and does not reach much more than 25 per cent of homes in Venezuela. This number has been increasing regularly since a previous fit of censorship by the Chavez administration.