South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have responded to China’s reported move to ban the Comedy Central series in that country, following a recent episode that dinged the Chinese government and Hollywood’s role in appeasing it.
The episode, titled “Band In China,” sees the boys form a metal band and offered a biopic, while Randy is caught trying to sell marijuana in China and sent to a prison work camp. It and other episodes seemingly have been scrubbed from Chinese streaming services, social media sites including Weibo and Baidu, fan sites and discussion pages, according to reports.
The ban caught the attention of Parker and Stone, who put out a statement Monday via the long-running animated series’ official Twitter page. The backhanded apology included a reference to the NBA’s recent entanglements with China, which severed promotional ties with the league’s Houston Rockets after the team’s GM recently tweeted out support for democratic protesters in Hong Kong.
“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” Parker and Stone wrote. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all! Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, in Japan for a Rockets-Toronto Raptors exhibition game, said he backed the right for Houston general manager Daryl Morey to tweet support for Hong Kong in its protests against China, but according to ESPN acknowledged there have been consequences.
“There is no doubt, the economic impact is already clear,” Silver said Monday. “There have already been fairly dramatic consequences from that tweet, and I have read some of the media suggesting that we are not supporting Daryl Morey, but in fact we have.”
Silver also said he endorsed the right for Brooklyn Nets co-owner Joe Tsai, who co-founded China’s Alibaba, saying in his own statement Sunday in part that “supporting a separatist movement in a Chinese territory is one of those third-rail issues, not only for the Chinese government, but also for all citizens in China.
“The one thing that is terribly misunderstood, and often ignored, by the western press and those critical of China is that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united when it comes to the territorial integrity of China and the country’s sovereignty over her homeland,” he continued. “This issue is non-negotiable.”
Meanwhile, Comedy Central will air the 300th South Park episode on Wednesday at 10 PM with another hot-button topic in its sights: the anti-vaccination movement. The series, now it its 23rd season, was recently renewed for three more 10-episode seasons.
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