Anyone familiar with Bolivia knows it is a nation of frequent protests and roadblocks. The people here take to the streets en masse to air their grievances of just about anything; from their right to drive while drunk to the name change of an airport in Oruro.
However, the latest string of nationwide protests are the weirdest yet. Over 2,000 angry participants took to the streets across Bolivia’s three biggest cities to express their outrage at Unitel’s (our national public broadcaster) decision to remove the Simpsons from the prime time slot.
The trouble started when some unknown Unitel executives thought it would be a sensible idea to replace The Simpsons with a competitive sports program called Calle 7 (7th Street). And who could blame them? In most of the world The Simpsons is considered way past it’s prime, its glory days long gone after 20 years on the air.
But not here in Bolivia. It’s proven so popular that Bolivians are willing to take to the streets in their thousands to fight for their right to… watch The Simpsons.
Thankfully, people power has prevailed. Not only have Unitel reinstated the Simpsons back to its original time slot, they have also increased screen time to two hour back-to-back episodes instead of the normal 45 minutes.
The Simpsons officially responded to the crisis with this video on their Facebook page.
And here is a rather amusing snippet from a Bolivian TV news station covering the story. The chanting you hear translates to “We want the Simpsons”.