Comedy Central censors all references to Mohammed on "South Park"; Update: Parker and Stone issue statement

As InstaGlenn says, this is actually the perfect ironic conclusion to the media’s post-Tax Day binge of hyperventilating about tea party extremism. Cranks holding up “Impeach the Kenyan!” signs at a right-wing rally are grist for a thousand NYT op-eds about Oklahoma City, but have jihadis intimidate the parent company of one of the most highly regarded comedies on television into blacking out its shows and it’s essentially a curio for the TV beat.


Comedy Central bleeped out all references to the Prophet Muhammad in Wednesday night’s episode of the animated show “South Park.”…

In addition to bleeping the words “Prophet Muhammad,” the show also covered the character with a large block labeled “Censored.”…

Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the author of the post [on the Muslim website threatening the creators of the show], told he wrote the entry to “raise awareness.” He said the grisly photograph of van Gogh was meant to “explain the severity” of what Parker and Stone did by mocking Muhammad.

“It’s not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome,” al Amrikee said, referring to the possibility that Parker and Stone could be murdered for mocking Muhammad. “They’re going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It’s just the reality.”

True enough, true enough. Mohammed also figured in last week’s episode; he wasn’t shown, per Comedy Central’s policy in recent years of bowing to Islamic blasphemy laws, but his name was mentioned in the dialogue. This week, after the new threats from filthbags like al-Amrikee, even that was gone. So absurd was it that some South Park fans thought Trey Parker and Matt Stone might have bleeped the name themselves as a goof. Not so:


On Thursday morning, a spokesman for Comedy Central confirmed that the network had added more bleeps to the episode than were in the cut delivered by South Park Studios, and that it was not giving permission for the episode to run on the studio’s Web site.

When you look for the episode on South Park’s website, this is what greets you. One mystery lingers: In the final scene, in vintage SP fashion, a bunch of characters gave mini-soliloquies about the moral of the story. The twist this time is that they were all bleeped out — roughly 30 seconds’ worth of airtime, filled with nothing but bleeps. I thought for sure that that had to be a joke — the moral of the story was how absurd censorship can be, and that was a perfect way to show it — but now I’m not so sure. Says the AP, “Comedy Central also censored 35 seconds’ worth of a conversation toward the end of the show between the characters Stan, Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. The network wouldn’t say Thursday whether this contained any reference to the warning [from jihadists].”

In lieu of a clip from the show, here’s something from last week’s Sarah Silverman Program goofing on Holocaust memorials that didn’t need to be censored. Why? Because no one threatened to bomb Comedy Central for showing it.

The Sarah Silverman Program
Festive Holocaust Memorial
Futurama New Episodes Funny Demon Zombie TV Show Funny TV Comedy Blog

Update: Unbelievable.

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.

So not only did Comedy Central censor the Mohammed stuff, but when they were called out for being cowards, they censored that too. Perfect.

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 23, 2024
David Strom 10:30 AM | July 23, 2024