According to a programming schedule released earlier this week, Disney XD’s U.S. broadcast of Pokémon Sun and Moon will jump directly from episode 63 to 65. This is curious, since the last time any Pokémon episode went un-aired in the United States was in 2002, when episode 265 of the original series was cut for prominently featuring the character Jynx, who bears an unfortunate resemblance to blackface cartoons of the 1930s.
The reason for cutting Sun and Moon‘s 64th episode appears to be similar. In this episode Ash befriends a group of lemur-like pokémon called “passimians”, disguising himself as one of them in an attempt to blend in. Unfortunately, this disguise includes black face paint, and the ape-like nature of passimians could be associated with racial slurs depicting African Americans as monkeys.
So it looks like TPCi is skipping the Passimian episode…and I can uh….understand why pic.twitter.com/RnwPai1FaN
— JPRPokeTrainer98 (@JPRPT98) July 4, 2018
To be clear, neither Disney XD nor Pokémon Company have actually commented on the episode. It’s entirely possible it was postponed for a later date, though it seems more likely they simply wanted to quietly avoid any potential controversy which might come from airing this episode in the United States.
As the news has circulated, some fans have agreed with Disney XD’s decision, while others insist there is nothing racist about the episode, and that cutting it was unnecessary.
Banning the Passimian episode of SunMoon for "blackface" seems pretty ridiculous to me. Ash dresses up as what is basically an actual monkey. Which is pretty different than, you know, a person???https://t.co/Y0o6JOxOZU pic.twitter.com/60N23QCCwi
— Riolu (@TheRiolu_) July 10, 2018
Source: Sora News 24