Aww, man! Bart Simpson joins Barbie in Iran ban

TEHRAN Mon Feb 6, 2012 8:58pm IST

A picture of Bart Simpson with the words ''Suck my quorum'' is carried by people following partial results of four referendums in downtown Rome June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

A picture of Bart Simpson with the words ''Suck my quorum'' is carried by people following partial results of four referendums in downtown Rome June 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The Simpsons are corroding the morals of Iranian youth, an official said on Monday, as dolls based on Bart, Homer and the rest of the American cartoon family joined the shapely Barbie among Western toys targeted by a new crackdown in Tehran.

"The Simpsons dolls are merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America," Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, whose agency oversees what Iranian children can play with, told the Sharq newspaper. He did not elaborate on what episodes might have been censored elsewhere.

"We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys," added Farjoo, whose full title is Secretary for Policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran.

Though Iran's economy is labouring under Western sanctions against its nuclear programme, foreign goods, including genuine and counterfeit toys like Barbie and the Simpsons, are widely sold. Merchants say new efforts to implement bans that have been in place before mean the merchandise is getting harder to obtain from wholesalers and shops prefer not to display the wares.

The Islamic Republic's morality police, fighting "Western intoxication" as the dispute over nuclear technology has raised fears of war, last month went on a drive against Barbie.

The American doll's full figure and revealing wardrobe particularly offend Iran's leaders, who decree that women must be fully swathed in loose-fitting clothes in public. "Imports of all kinds of dolls that display full adult figures are banned because they promote Western culture," Farjoo said.

It was not clear in what regard the irreverent Simpsons family had offended Iranian regulations - most versions of the cartoon dolls are hardly anatomically accurate.

However, while Farjoo said that all-American super-heroes like Superman and Spiderman were still welcome in Iran - because they do battle for the oppressed - the values of the Simpsons, a famously self-centred and irreligious bunch, were not.

Their popularity in Iran is hard to gauge; those with access to foreign satellite channels are familiar with the Fox Television cartoon. But it is not shown in Iran, relieving local networks of finding a translation for Bart Simpson's singular response to tiresome instructions of all kinds: "Eat my shorts!"

(Reporting by Mitra Amiri; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Paul Casciato)

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage