Simpsons Figurines: Banned in Iran


Iranian kids can't watch The Simpsons; the government has been jamming satellite transmission of the cartoon sitcom for decades. But just to be sure that Iranians are protected from Western moral contamination, Simpsons merchandise is now being banned as well.

The anti-Simpsons edict comes from Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, Secretary for Policy-Making of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), an organization founded by the deposed Shah's wife in 1961 with the goal of shaping the cultural and intellectual landscape of Iran. The ban may overstep his mandate. Technically, the Iranian Department of Commerce, which actually is a government agency, has dibs on cultivating the selection of ayatollah-approved goods. Such goods include the traditional Iranian boy and girl pair Dara and Sara (pictured right), similar to Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, but without the raggedyness. Reuters reports:

A range of officially approved dolls launched in 2002 to counter demand for Barbie have not proven successful, merchants told Reuters.

The dolls…arrived in shops wearing a variety of traditional dress, with Sara fully respecting the rule that all women in Iran must obey in public, of covering their hair and wearing loose-fitting clothes.

"My daughter prefers Barbies [which have been off the market since January]. She says Sara and Dara are ugly and fat," said Farnaz, a 38-year-old mother.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has long been obsessed with what he sees as a campaign of cultural infiltration by the West. That's probably why he's been increasing censorship and imprisonment of Iranian journalists, activists, and computer programmers lately.

He's leaving the cutesy stuff to the private organizations, though: Last month, I reported on the intention of a private Iranian company to produce toy replicas of the American spy plane RQ-170 Sentinel which was captured by Iranian military forces last November. (I also erroneously identified the makers of the toy as Iranian officials, thereby perpetuating the crude misconception that the often disparate goals of a government and those of the civilians to which it lays claim are one in the same. Bad Julie.)

Thus the warning about the moral pitfalls hanging out with "the Simpsons, a famously self-centred and irreligious bunch" in the form of plastic figurines. The IIDCYA, an institution older than the Islamic Revolution itself, has enough influence over these matters that Iranian children may indeed have to settle for fat, ugly, conservatively dressed toys.

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  1. Forget war with Iran. If we really want to destroy them, just start dropping DVDs of the Simpsons seasons 11-?. The country will be deserted within a year.

    1. Good idea!

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        1. Check with Homer.

        2. Mmmmmm….bisexuals.

      2. Thanks to this article about Iran, I am distracted about what is going on in my own ountry.

    2. Stopped buying the DVDs after season 11. My seven year old even thought they were getting pretty lame!

      PS: Doh!!!!!!!

  2. There were a few family value types in America that would have loved to prevent The Simpsons from being on air when it first started.

    1. They didn’t go away. Bitchy parents still loudly impose their decision to keep their cupcakes from watching the Simpsons. I haven’t watched it in years because I find it bland, irrelevant, and tame.

    2. I remember simpsons paraphenalia and simpsons clothing were banned by my (private) elementary school.

      But that was at the very beginning. The first season wasn’t quite as intelligent as later ones (but possibly better than even later oneS)

  3. The Flandererses should be banned in Iran, of course – Maude, Rod, and Todd.

    Reverend Lovejoy probably too.

  4. If there was ever a post which screamed for alt-text.

    Because, like Playboy, I read Reason for the alt-texts…

    1. Wrong thread, bro. You’re looking for the PM links with the pic of Bloomberg a-huggin’ on that giant wiener.

      1. Wait, that isn’t a picture of him hugging you?

        1. That giant wiener does bear a striking resemblance to me, but no, I’m not really the hugging type.

          1. Wait, that isn’t a picture of you raping Bloomberg?

            1. Hey, he signed up for the White House internship. He knew what he was getting into.

              1. Or what was getting into him.

  5. Though doesn’t this suggest that Iran is becoming more with the times? I would have thought Iran was still muddling a ban on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father for its racy and suggestive themes.

  6. So Iran is acting like a more iron-fisted version of US in the late 80s/early 90s? I wonder if they’ve seen In Living Color or Married with Children…

  7. What Imam could resist this wholesome scene?

    Later, Eddie would grow up to form legendary Nardcore band Dr Know.

  8. Jezebel doesn’t “get” advertisements with sexy women targeted at men:


    Featured commenter proves they don’t “get” irony by saying their favorite ad was the David Beckham one in his underpants.

    Seriously, what’s the difference?

    1. The difference is that you don’t hate men enough, dude.

      The Jezebel crowd is the exact functional equivalent of a woman-hating heterosexual man; the guy who wants to fuck women but hates them at the same time, which must be a pretty shitty place to be.

      I find it hilarious that the Jezebel crowd is the female version of what they purport to hate the most. Projection is a brutal syndrome.

      1. Didn’t Planned Parenthood used to have a SuperBowl ad watch?

        1. They had to drop it when Komen temporarily defunded them.

      2. Life holds few certainties, but among them are the politically correct crowd’s hypocrisy and its deafness to irony.

    2. I actually thought it seemed like that spot was edited specifically so that the straight dudebros in the room wouldn’t be freaked out by a glimpse of package, and they panned over his left hand with the prominent wedding ring so het ladies would get a romantical as well as sexxxy vibe.

      Is it true that woman love a married man?

        1. You mean womyn, you misogynistic fuck.

    3. GrahamCrackers @BeckySharper The gay men I was watching the Superbowl with thoroughly enjoyed every second of that ad! (Edit comment)

      Shorter GrahamCrackers: straight men won’t try to fuck me! Why not?

  9. What about the Ron Paul action figures? If they’re not already banned, they should be. Look at these things!


    1. Oh God! the bots have figured out how to insert inline pictures!!!!

  10. Ban Iranian figures on The Simpsons.

  11. “Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults”

    We have to put up with more than our share of these in America. The ideal share of paternalism is zero.

  12. Not a huge loss since the simpsons haven’t been funny in over ten years.

    1. You know, they have had a bit of a rebirth since going to HD, and now are watchable 2/3 of the time, and actually fairly decent and funny about one out of every four episodes. There was a pretty hysterical recent one where Homer and the family intentionally sat in the car in a crowded parking lot, doing things that looked like they were about to leave but never did, making other drivers crazy around them. Almost worthy of season 10 level.

  13. This is fucking WAR.

  14. I guess Bart Simpson got tired of making love to my wife so now he’s off making trouble in Iran.

  15. It (the “Ayatollah Assahollah” t-shirt) works on any Ayatollah! Ayatollah Nakhbadeh, Ayatollah Zahedi… Even as we speak, Ayatollah Razmara and his cadre of fanatics are consolidating their power!

  16. lol, heres a big Middle FInger Salute to Iran! lol, too funny!


  17. Censorship,lol, I’d probably respect the Iranian government a little more, if this was a reaction, however feeble, to counter the trade restrictions and economic sanctions imposed on them.

  18. “an organization founded by the deposed Shah’s wife in 1961 with the goal of shaping the cultural and intellectual landscape of Iran.”

    Yeah, they need to check with the French and see how that works out.

  19. Irreligious? Yet, how many other sitcoms show the family regularly going to church? Even if Homer is usually asleep, or at home watching football for the return of Jim Brown.

    PS. You are far too generous. The Simpsons, while sublime in their prime, haven’t been worth watching since season 9.

  20. From Associated Press’s take on the report:

    An Iranian government-affiliated agency has banned dolls of the Simpsons cartoon characters, who join Barbie and others on a toy blacklist, an independent newspaper reported on Monday.

    The report said that the Simpsons were banned to avoid the promotion of Western culture. But Superman and Spiderman were allowed, because they helped the “oppressed.”

    I love it. Superman, a character created by two Jewish men as a metaphor for the American immigrant experience, who fights for ‘Truth, Justice, and the American Way’…this is the character that is Sharia-approved.

    Lord, what fools these mortals be!

    1. Shhh…don’t tell them. It will reveal to the Iranian public that its leaders know jack shit about the U.S.

      1. They already know that. 🙂

  21. A bad news for Iranian kids.

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