The network said it will not air The Simpsons episode as “it could compromise the network and cause controversy.”
Several Russian Orthodox Church officials harshly criticized the episode titled Looking for Mr. Goodbart.
The archpriest Andrei Novikov reportedly was quoted saying that the episode was “Hollywood propaganda” aimed at compromising Russian society. He also called for “more control over media products.”
The episode features Homer Simpson playing a mobile game named Peekimon Get, which is a parody of Pokémon Go. In one scene, he is depicted walking into a church looking for “Peekimons.”
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) May 1, 2017
This isn’t the first time Russian officials have taken issue with the smartphone game. In September, a Russian blogger named Ruslan Sokolovsky was arrested for playing Pokémon Go in a St. Petersburg church.
Sokolovsky posted a video on his blog that showed him playing the game while in a church built on the supposed spot where the family of the last Russian czar, Nicholas II, was killed.
He is currently on trial for “insulting religious feelings” and “inciting hatred.” He faces three to five years in jail.
The network 2×2 has been airing episodes of The Simpsons and South Park since its launch in 2007.
Looking for Mr. Goodbart aired in Canada on Apr. 30.