7. Pokémon (Franchise) - Saudi Arabia - Promoting Evolution
You don't get to be the biggest media franchise in the world without expansion and the likes of Pikachu and friends are recognised all over the globe. However, some countries have taken issue with the family-friendly monster battler.
In 2001, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia banned the franchise and Qatar and Egypt followed suit on the grounds of promoting evolution over the word of religion.
There’s a reason that many Pokémon games start with creepy crawlies to catch. The Caterpie to Metapod to Butterfree line exists to show players how Pokémon transform and grow stronger, but it should also be a good demonstration that the “evolution” in the game isn’t the kind that riled up such Governments. Pokémon don’t evolve in the Darwinian sense so much as they transform or go through metamorphosis.
A caterpillar becoming a butterfly or a tadpole becoming a frog are observable in nature and, considering that series creator Satoshi Tajiri was inspired by bug hunting, that’s as deep as the series is looking to get. It’s hardly a statement on the religion versus science debate.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia specifically focused on the GameBoy Color title based on the Pokémon Trading Card Game, claiming that the symbol for “colourless energy” was the “Star of David” and proof that the games were zionist. If you say so…