'South Park': Five Episodes Kept Off HBO Max

The Comedy Central cartoon moved from Hulu to the newly launched streamer this month.
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'South Park'

The entire South Park library is now streaming on HBO Max, except for five episodes that are not available due to the depiction of a religious figure. 

"Super Best Friends" from the fifth season, "Cartoon Wars" parts I and II from the 10th season, and "200" and "201" from the 14th season are all absent from the newly launched streaming service because they depicted a character based on the Prophet Muhammad. 

The absence is not necessarily surprising; the episodes were previously pulled from broadcast and were not available to stream while the series was on Hulu. South Park Studios was on board with the decision; holding the episodes was discussed and agreed upon before Viacom licensed the series to HBO Max last year.

Former Comedy Central head Doug Herzog told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that censoring and then pulling "200" and "201" was done as a matter of safety due to threats. "We were protecting everyone who works here. That was the decision we needed to make," he said then. "That was the hardest we've ever pushed back [over the show's content]." 

The plot of that two-parter revolved around the Hall of the Super Best Friends, a superhero organization comprising figures from the world's leading religions, including the Prophet Muhammad (Comedy Central blacked out the character and bleeped his name when "200" and "201" aired).

Show co-creator Trey Parker previously said he was livid over the censorship. "What pissed me off about episodes '200' and '201' was that I thought the episodes ended up being really good," he said. "We were so exhausted by it all, we were like, 'Fuck it, just get on to the next episode.'"

In October 2019, HBO Max landed the 23-season library in a deal that was expected to be worth as much as $500 million. South Park was renewed last fall through 2022.