- Posted April 22, 2010 by
Lake Forest, Illinois
Comedy Central censors South Park
It happened again. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker attempted to revisit the controversial issue of depicting the prophet Muhammad in last night's episode '201'. However, like in their previous attempts, Comedy Central censored the episode to remove all offending material.
The episode aired with significant portions of audio "bleeped" out. Any and all references to the Muslim prophet Muhammad were removed from the episode just before the airing. However, unlike the previous time Comedy Central censored Muhammad, Comedy Central did not just remove the image depictions of Muhammad. They removed the word 'Muhammad' completely from the episode.
Last night, after the episode aired, I contacted Comedy Central to clarify the actions taken. Steve Albani, Executive Vice President of Comedy Central, said "We were responsible for the bleeps and not showing Muhammad". From his statement, we can infer that images of Muhammad were also censored from the show, but what exactly was removed remains unknown. Comedy Central also pulled the usual uncensored midnight rerun of the episode.
To be clear, Comedy Central censored the show, not South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. This is the first time that the word 'Muhammad', the most common name on the planet, has been censored from an American show. It is presumed Comedy Central acted in response to threats from revolutionmuslim.com. What does this mean for free speech and the future of South Park? The future is as unclear as the plot of that censored episode.