Over the past few weeks Comedy Central promoted the hell out of South Park's 200th episode. It was to be a momentous occasion that promised to bring back many of the shows characters, and did they ever. The episode centered around all the celebrities they have ever made fun of suing the tiny town of South Park. In order to not be made fun of ever again they decide to steal the power (or, Goo) of the Prophet Muhammad. What power? The power to not being allowed to be made fun of. And as we all know it is perfectly fine to make fun of anyone, and religion or belief..but stay away from any mention of Muhammad. The last time Trey Parker and Matt Stone tried to show Muhammad on their show, Comedy Central made them take the image out. (See their double episode Cartoon Wars to see how they responded to it.) To get around this, they never showed him. But with the town in danger, we got us a cliff hanger episode.
Last night was the second part, and we didn't get to hear a lot of the episode. Due to some recent attention to the episode (death threats from an extremist web site that published the business address of Trey and Matt) once again Comedy Central decided that the episode needed to be edited. They did this by bleeping every mention of Muhammad's name, which some had initially believed was a gag. Then at the end of the episode, during Kyle's "I learned something today," speech everything was bleeped. His speech, his dad's speech, Santa's speech, everybody. Today Tray and Matt put out a statement about this:
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.
I can understand that Comedy Central may have been worried about what could happen to them if these lunatics actually went through with it. But by censoring just the name of Muhammad they have told the world that they will edit anything to make anyone (even lunatics who are upset or shake their fist) happy. Trey and Matt have made their careers on believing that free speech is worth everything, but Comedy Central has told them, "No it's not."
Here is my question that I pose to you: Is it? The only thing left to tell Comedy Central is to watch out. Instead of extremist idiots, you now have Trey and Matt coming after you. This is going to be fun.
POPped by Jungle Jesse