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.
In short: Terrorism—1; Comedy Central—0
This has all been a bit surreal. I know, it’s just a TV show. But it represents so, so much more. Amid it all, I can’t help but think of the a scene from the “Cartoon Wars” two-parter, which was, naturally, about intimidating a network into not airing an offensive cartoon. It features Bart Simpson and Cartman discussing plans to get “Family Guy” off the air:
Cartman: Look, kid, if you hate a TV show, all you have to do is get an episode pulled. Pretty soon the show is compromised and it goes off the air.
Bart: Cool, man.
Cartman: Yes. So my plan is to use this whole Muhammad thing as a way to scare the network into pulling tonight’s show. I’m going to use fear to get them to do what I want.
Bart: Isn’t that like, terrorism?
Cartman: …No, it isn’t like terrorism. It is terrorism!
I was going to embed it above, but clips currently aren’t available at South Park Studios. I can only hope this is coincidental.