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[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the South Park episode “Board Girls”]
South Park used the late Randy Savage for some woke culture satire, mocking trans athletes in Wednesday’s episode, with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wading into the fierce debate about trans women in sporting competitions.
Titled “Board Girls,” the seventh episode of the 23rd season revolved around the character Strong Woman (who is also the vice principal at the elementary school and partner of PC Principal, with whom she has the PC babies) entering a Strongwoman Competition, which she previously won.
In top shape and ready to compete, she is asked by a sportscaster how she feels about trans women in the competition. Strong Woman says she is happy about the situation.
Enter Heather Swanson, a character who looks and sounds just like the late wrestler Randy Savage, but says she started identifying as female “two weeks ago” in order to compete.
“I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some fucking ass,” she says. The actual Savage died in 2011 at the age of 58.
Heather, of course, wins the competition and later a number of other female competitions, all the while picking a fight with Strong Woman and calling PC Principal a “transphobe” because he takes issue with Heather’s behavior. It is later learned that the Randy Savage character is an ex-boyfriend out for revenge against Strong Woman for embarrassing him years prior.
In the end, Heather, who claimed to be unstoppable, is defeated by some of the elementary school girls who formed a board game club after the boys at the school complained and had them removed from their game club.
Heather says the competition against the girls was not fair because she was born a man, which means she does not read the board game directions beforehand, like she says woman do, so she was at a disadvantage. Cartman then invites Heather to join the boy’s club.
On Thursday, Rachel McKinnon, a transgender world track cycling champion, called the episode “lazy” and said Parker and Stone are, in fact, transphobic.
“I’m not particularly mad about the South Park episode,” she said via Twitter. “Yes it’s transphobic. Yes it’s lazy. Yes it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they’re lazy and increasingly irrelevant. Fuck, Futurama made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don’t have new jokes.”
She continued, “South Park has been deeply transphobic the *entire time.* This isn’t their first explicitly transphobic story line. It won’t be their last. Stone and Parker are transphobes. Write them off. Ignore their lazy show.”
Nov. 14, 1 p.m.: Updated with comments from competitive cyclist Rachel McKinnon.
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