Thursday, April 22, 2010

Terrorism 1 : Freedom of Speech "Dead"

Well, it's official. Comedy Central, the parent broadcaster of the hit TV cartoon series "South Park" self-censored the latest episode titled "201. Following threats by Islamic radicals, the cable company decided to censor a big portion of the show after the show was produced and delivered by its creators.

Any mention of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad is given the bleep treatment. The black-box visual censor is also applied for the image of Muhammad (this could partially be intentional as part of the joke of course). Worst of all, the entire final monologue by the South Park characters where completely bleeped out.

This is disgusting, and it's sick. It's an own-goal for the broadcaster who has put up with a lot more than the current minuscule issue. They've let some random blogger force them to submit to their threats and demands.

What have we come to when entertainment has to be politically censored? I can't wait to see how they will justify this.

Update (00:40 CET Friday): The show's creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have made the following announcement in response to the growing outrage at the network.

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.

Image Source: South Park Studios

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