If you keeps up with all things Pokemon, you’ve no doubt heard about the unfortunate Russian blogger who could be sentenced to several years in prison for playing Pokemon Go in a church. You probably also saw that The Simpsons parodied Pokemon Go in their most recent episode, “Looking For Mr. Goodbart.” Well, now those two stories meet, as things just keep getting weirder for Russian Pokemon fans.
Word is, the Pokemon Go-parodying episode of The Simpsons has been stricken from Russian television. Russian TV network 2x2, which usually the home of The Simpsons, has said they won’t be airing the episode as it would “compromise the network and cause controversy." So, who’s raising a fuss about some random late-season episode of The Simpsons? Why, the Russian Orthodox Church!
According to Russian news agencies, church officials have angrily condemned the episode, calling it “Hollywood propanda,” amidst calls for more government control of the media. What seems to have set them off is a scene in which Homer plays Pokemon Go -- sorry, I mean “Peekimon Get” – in church.
Whether the Pokemon Go church scene was just a random gag, or a direct reference to the trial of Ruslan Sokolovsky, isn’t entirely clear. Sokolovsky was recently convicted of inciting hatred and offending religious believers and sentenced to 3.5 years in for streaming Pokemon Go from inside a church.
The Orthodox Church has seen a dramatic rise in power and influence in Russia in recent years, and now holds major sway over most levels of government. If the church decides they have it out for some random thing, like, say, a harmless monster-catching mobile game, there’s not a lot Russians can do to combat that. Don’t expect this to be the last anti-Pokemon Russian story you see.
Need more Pokemon news? You can catch all of WWG’s extensive coverage, right here.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]