Bart Simpson has joined Barbie on Iran’s do not play list. Spidey and Superman are okay.
An independent newspaper in the Islamic Republic reported Monday that a government-affiliated agency has banned dolls featuring the yellow Simpsons characters to avoid the promotion of Western culture.
The move relegates Marge, Homer, Lisa, Maggie and presumably the rest of Springfield to the same blacklist as Barbie, which Iran called a “Trojan Horse” in 1996, The Associated Press reported.
But toys featuring Superman and Spider-Man were deemed okay because they help “the oppressed people and they have a positive stance,” the Shargh daily quoted Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, secretary of policymaking at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, as saying.
Iran has tried to crack down on Western influence since its 1979 Islamic revolution, but has contended with a thriving black market.
A quarter of the country’s population under age 15, and the country imported $57 million in toys last year, the AP reported. About $20 million worth of illegal toys were smuggled into the country the same year.