Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always been known for their fearlessness when it comes to saying whatever they want to say, whether in their movies like Team America: World Police, or whether it’s on their highly-popular hit Comedy Central show, South Park. But as you may have heard, some heavy threats have lead to a big uproar and one of the few times we’ve seen the show be censored more so than it needed to be.
The animated show has been going strong for over a decade now, currently in their 14th season on the air. Every single season they have made an effort to push the envelope, to try and take just one more step while already under so much scrutiny from censors and angry parents everywhere. And with this, every single season has seen countless jaw-dropping moments where you just can’t help but wonder “how DID they get away with that!?” right before running into yet another shocker.
South Park is currently in the midst of closing out the first half of their 14th season, and their plan was to do it with one of their epic multi-episode story arcs. But it is here where the show appears to have gone too far in the eyes of some.
Click on over to the other side to see John Stewart’s reaction to this South Park controversy on The Daily Show!
The current story brought all of the celebrities that they’ve gone after on their show in the past, and sees them band together to destroy the little Colorado town unless they can bring them the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Considering how impossible it is for Muhammad to be seen in any way, this raises major complications in making the furious mob of celebrities happy.
While Parker and Stone have used Muhammad in an episode before, they’ve (so far) kept him hidden in these past two episodes, putting him in a mascot costume to keep him from being seen and so on. Nevertheless, a Muslim group based in New York wasn’t impressed, and made it crystal clear that it was not smart to keep depicting their prophet, even if he remained unseen. The group posted a message on their website stating that airing the episode would “probably” lead to Parker and Stone ending up like Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker who was killed in 2004 for making a movie about a girl who denies the words of Muhammad.
In a statement put out by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the following was said:
In the 14 years we’ve been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn’t stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn’t some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle’s customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn’t mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We’ll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we’ll see what happens to it.
Clearly, as we’ve come to expect from the duo, if they had it their way the show would air as they delivered it to Comedy Central. On the other hand, you have to imagine that the network wasn’t trying to step down so much as they were deciding to be safe and protect their own. Even still, they did show the episode instead of not airing it at all, so who knows if more will come of this all.
So if you were wondering what the hell was going on with this week’s South Park, this is your answer. The show has always aimed to push the limits, but this was a situation where the laughs just weren’t worth the risks.
Thankfully, John Stewart is always there to share his thoughts on stuff like this. Enjoy!