Bolivians Fight for Their Right to the Simpsons
Protestors told a broadcaster to eat their shorts.
If you thought the triumphs, travails, and a million pop culture references of a not-so-typical American family would have limited appeal outside of the US, you would be so very wrong. The Simpsons, for almost all of their 26-year run, have always been a global phenomenon, and are as popular in South America as they are in their home country. So it’s no surprise that when a major Bolivian television network moved the Simpsons time slot a few hours, Bolivians took to the streets in protest, dressed as various Simpsons characters, and demanded their show be given back its rightful place on the schedule.
Take a walk through a market in any South American city, and you will most likely see counterfeit memorabilia, from a crudely drawn Homer choking Bart (which seems to be a particular fixation), to various regional politicians depicted as Mr. Burns.Unlike American stations, which are limited by syndication deals to playing the last fifteen years or so of the program, most South American stations tick to the older, classic episodes, replaying them ad infinitum.
The cable company Unitel wasn’t canceling the Simpsons, they were simply changing its time slot. This change was not taken well by young Bolivians, 2,000 of which jammed city streets chanting “Simpsons, Simpsons!”. The company swiftly changed its programming decision and even extended the Simpsons time slot to two hours a day. Now this is a revolution I can really get behind. Viva Evo!