Fining the private broadcaster that aired an episode of the popular American
sitcom “The Simpsons,” which showed God at the beck and call of the Devil, was a move to protect children, head of Turkish Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) Davut Dursun said in defense of the institution’s decision.
“We wanted to protect the children, not God,” Dursun said in a statement before making a speech at the “Media and Humor” conference.
“The slitting of one's throat, cutting one’s body into little pieces and encouraging murder,” Dursun said in reference to the findings of an expert report, adding the decision to fine the TV channel was made because children may be affected by these scenes.
Dursun underlined that RTÜK did not fine “The Simpsons,” simply the broadcaster who aired the episode in question on a day when children may be watching TV.
RTÜK said the fine had been levied due to CNBC-E “making fun of God, encouraging the young people to exercise violence by showing the murders as God's orders and encouraging them to start drinking alcohol on New Year's Eve night.”
“One of the characters is abusing another one's religious belief to make him commit murders. The bible is publicly burned in one scene and God and the Devil are shown in human bodies,” the RTÜK report said.
In another scene, God serves coffee to the Devil, which can be considered an insult to religious beliefs, according to the report, which explained the motive behind the fine.
“The Simpsons” is the longest-running U.S. sitcom and longest-running U.S. animated program.