Anyone familiar with Bolivia knows it is a nation cursed with frequent protests and roadblocks. The people here take to the streets en masse to air their grievances about 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 so far. Over 2000 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 it’s 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. After 20 years on air it’s popularity has faded significantly from the glory days of yesteryear. 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.
The good news is that Unitel have listened to the people. Not only have they 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. Just goes to show the true power of the people.
The Simpsons officially responded to the crisis with this video posted to 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”.