Throughout the years there have been a handful of episodes of the Pokémon anime that never saw the light of day outside of Japan. This includes episode 250, The Ice Cave!, which was banned due to the fact that Jynx’s appearance was reminiscent of a racial stereotype. No episodes have been banned since the Jynx controversy in 2002, but that could be changing.
Episode 64 of the Sun and Moon anime, Touchdown of Friendship!!, will not be aired during its regularly scheduled slot on July 16th. We don’t yet have confirmation that the episode will be permanently banned in the US, but The Pokémon Company appears to be holding it back for now for reasons that invoke feelings of déjà vu.
In the new episode, Ash Ketchum befriends a tribe of Passimian, a species of Pokémon inspired by lemurs. Ash eventually begins dressing and behaving like a Passimian, and that includes painting his face black to better resemble them. As with the Jynx episode, it appears that The Pokémon Company wishes to avoid being associated with what could be seen as a racial stereotype. Polygon has reached out to The Pokémon Company and Disney XD for clarification, but they have not yet heard back.