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After last week’s episode of the Comedy Central series sparked a threat (and yes, it was certainly a threat) from a radical Islamic website, the network has cracked-down-for-their-own-good on creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone during last night’s continuation of the show’s storyline.
For those who missed the drama, the show’s 200th episode last week mocked the one “celebrity” that the series has been largely unable to depict, the Prophet Muhammad, who was hidden from view in a bear costume. A U.S.-based website RevolutionMuslim.com then warned Parker and Stone they could end up like Theo Van Gogh (the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by Muslim extremists after depicting Muhammad on his show) and even posted the address of the show’s production office. The site has since been shut down.
Last night, “South Park” continued the controversial Muhammad storyline, but with a key difference: every instance of the words “Prophet Muhammad” was bleeped out, making the episode practically incomprehensible, especially to anybody who missed the previous week.
The character of Muhammad was once again also hidden from view, covered by a
large block labeled “censored.”
A Comedy Central spokesperson confirmed it was the network’s decision to bleep the words.
The Muhammad content is also not available on the South Park Studios website.
A message on the site states: “We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show. We will bring you a version of [episode] 201 as soon as we can.”
Ironically, “South Park” apparently shows an image of the Prophet Muhammad briefly in its opening credits that has gone largely unnoticed.
UPDATE: Parker and Stone comment on “South Park” censorship:
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.
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