The executive producer of Fox animation staple “The Simpsons” fired back at Iran after the country slapped a ban on the sale of “Simpsons” toys, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"Simpsons" EP Al Jean told the publication, "This means war!" when he was asked about the ban. Iran placed all "Simpsons" merchandise on a toy blacklist, joining toys such as Barbie that the country has banned for promoting Western culture, the article notes.
Some Western pop icons, such as Spider-Man and Superman, remain available in the country, because those figures are considered helpful to the "oppressed," the story adds.
The Iranian government’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults is monitoring the sale of toys. The Times reported that the agency’s secretary of policymaking, Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, “said that any doll that had distinguishable adult genitals, or any dolls of adults at all, were banned ‘because these dolls are promoters of Western culture.’"
The story adds: “Superman and Spider-Man got a pass because ‘though they are dolls and characters in American films, they help oppressed people and they have a positive stance.’"
“The Simpsons” is approaching its 500th episode, scheduled for Feb. 19.