'South Park' Escalates Criticism of Chinese Government in Latest Episode

Esequiel Farfan
Octubre 12, 2019

The episode comes just two days after "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker mocked both China's reaction to last week's episode and the way the National Basketball Association caved to Chinese pressure after the general manager of the Houston Rockets expressed support for Hong Kong protesters. Although a bit surprising, the news is not that far-fetched as the show has been erased in China by the government. On Baidu Tieba, a popular discussion platform, searches for "South Park" on Tuesday returned the following message: "According to the relevant law and regulation, this section is temporarily not open". On Weibo, the country's most popular social network, posts mentioning the show could not be found. The episode-called "Band in China"-depicted forced labor at a Chinese prison, and parodied companies that cave-in to censorship for commercial gain".

Winnie the Pooh has been aggressively censored in China since Xi's election in 2012. "I can't sell my soul like this", says one character, who was under pressure from Chinese censors to rewrite his music.

Eventually the boys tire of the ordeal. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy".

The N.B.A.is hardly the first global business to make concessions to China's political sensitivities as it seeks access to its lucrative market, or to forcefully apologize after running afoul of them. Thus, the animated series earned a ban in China. Moviegoers in China bought an estimated $8.87 billion in movie tickets past year, according to box office analysts. So what's the difference between South Park and the National Basketball Association? On his flight to China, Randy Marsh was surrounded by characters from "Avengers" and "Star Wars", along with N.B.A. players.

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The incident comes as the National Basketball Association and its Houston Rockets franchise are facing fierce criticism and financial punishment in China over a tweet supporting Hong Kong's democracy protesters.

On Monday evening, show makers Trey Parker and Matt Stone gave an announcement with an artificial statement of regret about the boycott that referenced the National Basketball Association, which has likewise been captured in Chinese contention.

Following censorship of the show's "Band in China" episode, Stone and Parker issued an "apology" to the Chinese government on Monday and later included another jab at the country's politicians in "South Park"'s 300th episode. The insult was said by Randy, who in the previous episode traveled to China in order to expand his weed business. "It's not worth living in a world where China controls my country's art", he added. Also, Winnie the Pooh is removed in China, accounting for this. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10!

"China is run by communists; they're not good people". May this autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful!

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