'South Park' Creators Respond to Network Censorship
By PopEater Staff Posted Apr 22nd 2010 11:00PM
Following violent threats from a New York group called Revolution Muslim, Comedy Central opted to censor portions of a controversial 'South Park' episode featuring the Prophet Muhammad characterized in a bear suit. The show bleeped the words "Prophet Muhammad" and covered the character's face with a block reading "Censored." Fans were understandably disappointed, with some blaming the two men who created the show.
However, 'South Park' producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone pointed out in a statement Thursday that they had nothing to do with the censorship, saying it "wasn't some meta-joke on our part."
Revolution Muslim alluded on its Web site earlier this week that the actions of Stone and Parker could earn them a fate like filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered in Amsterdam in 2004 as vengeance for a film investigating the abuse of Muslim women in parts of Islamic society."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."
"We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show," the post reads. "This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the author of the diatribe, told FOX, "It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome. They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."
Though they claim the post was not a threat, the website posted the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and the California production studio where 'South Park' is made.
The episode, which was the show's 201st, is not currently available for streaming. "We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show," the creators wrote on SouthParkStudios.com. For those who did see it on-air, Muhammad appeared on-screen with a black box over him, since Muslims consider physical representation of their prophet to be blasphemous.
When the aforementioned bear costume is removed, it reveals none other than Santa Claus.
Comedy Central confirmed on Thursday that they had added more bleeps and were not giving permission for the episode to run on the show's website.
Comedy Central declined PopEater's request for comment on the situation.
Below, see Bill O'Reilly's FOX report.
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