CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela has forced U.S. cartoon “The Simpsons” off its airwaves, calling the show a potentially bad influence on children, and filled its morning slot with reruns of the beach-and-bikini show “Baywatch.”
“The Simpsons” satirical take on a dysfunctional American family had been shown, dubbed into Spanish, on the Televen network at an 11 am slot.
“Today I believe they started broadcasting something else,” said a spokesman at Venezuela’s broadcasting regulator Conatel. “They were infringing many things in the television and radio social responsibility law.”
Conatel said it started proceedings against the morning airing of the show after complaints from viewers.
Televen has replaced the long-running and popular cartoon with “Baywatch Hawaii,” late seasons of the “Baywatch” series that made actress Pamela Anderson a household name.
20th Century Fox Television, which owns “The Simpsons” and is part of News Corp, said it was not immediately able to comment on the decision to pull “The Simpsons.” The long-running show was once criticized by former U.S. President George H. W. Bush but is now a major U.S. cultural reference.
Many Venezuelan television stations fill their schedules with reruns of old U.S. series and Latin American soap-operas.
Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Cynthia Osterman