Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Ecuador Limits Daytime Television Broadcasts of [i]The Simpsons[/i]



On Wednesday, the National Council of Radio and Television (Conartel) temporarily prohibited Teleamazonas, a private broadcast television network, from airing The Simpsons between 6:00am and 9:00 p.m. The government agency issued the suspension out of concern that the American animated television sitcom transmits content not suitable for children and young adults. Ecuadorian law mandates that all TV programs broadcast prior to 9:00 p.m. should be appropriate for the general public. Its ruling was sparked by the May 22 airing of “La Guerra de Lisa” and is in effect pending the results of an investigation by the National Council of Childhood and Adolescence.

Teleamazonas did not publicly address the decision and made no mention of it during the evening news broadcast. Those opposed to the government question Conartel’s motives because of the tensions between the government and the television network and the fact that the decree was aimed specifically at Teleamazonas. María Paula Romo, president of the Civil and Penal Commission of Ecuador, expressed her concern: “it [the government] has recently dictated a series of prohibitions and I am worried that the procedures are being taken lightly.”

Ecuador is the second country in the region to take a stand against Homer, Bart and the Simpson family. In April 2008, Venezuelan called the program “inappropriate” and banned it from morning television, only to be replaced by Baywatch.

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