‘South Park’ Doubly Censored After Veiled Threats

Yesterday I wrote about the controversy surrounding the April 14 episode of South Park, in which a cartoon depiction of the prophet Muhummad appeared. Despite the fact that he was not actually shown per se, but rather concealed by a bear costume, a New York-based Muslim website issued a stern warning that such an offense might well be answered — though not by them necessarily — with violence. In reaction, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker elected to hide the character under a “CENSORED” graphic on the follow-up episode, and his name was bleeped as well. Apparently, this wasn’t enough of a compromise for Comedy Central.

According to the New York Times:

A spokesman for Comedy Central confirmed on Thursday that the network had added more bleeps to the episode than were in the version delivered by South Park Studios, and that it was not permitting the episode to be shown on the studio’s Web site. Comedy Central did not broadcast a repeat of the new “South Park” episode at midnight as it usually does, and instead showed a previous episode from this season. Comedy Central declined to comment on the Revolution Muslim blog post or say if it was taking any precautions because of it.

I could write a couple of graphs about how disappointing, craven, and absurd I find this, but The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has, of course, beaten me to it. Last night, he devoted all of his show’s upfront segment to addressing the controversy, ending with a song-and-dance routine inviting all those who would threaten or kill for religious or political reasons to “go fuck themselves.”

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