China has a message for “South Park”: You will respect their authoritah!
After Comedy Central aired an episode of the animated series that chided Hollywood for fearing Chinese censors, that country responded by stripping any mention of the show from internet providers and streaming services there.
Last week’s Season 23 episode, cheekily titled “Band in China,” depicts Randy in a Chinese work camp — alongside Winnie the Pooh, the Disney character often compared to China President Xi Jinping — for attempting to smuggle pot into the country to expand his weed-selling enterprise.
In a parallel storyline, a rock band made up of Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters is on the verge of having a movie made about them, but Chinese censors keep wanting to water down the script. “Now I know how Hollywood writers feel,” Stan declares when he’s forced to endure changes. Disney is even part of the takedown, with Mickey Mouse depicted as supporting censors’ work. (Stan ultimately abandons the band and film project to prove he won’t bend to China.)
According to the Hollywood Reporter, mentions of the show on the Chinese social-media platform Weibo have vanished, and on the country’s huge discussion platform, Tieba, relevant “South Park” pages have even been “temporarily” shut down.
Apparently, China didn’t already have enough to worry about when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey recently expressed support for anti-mainland demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show has regularly skewered American society, international politics and Hollywood since it premiered in 1997.