Did Comedy Central censor tonight's episode of South Park? The answer would appear to be YES.
[THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: In an interview Thursday evening, South Park Executive Producer Anne Garefino explained to me that Comedy Central censored the episode out of fear (not tolerance) and gives details here on how the battle whether to air the Mohammed scene continued until late Tuesday night, less than 24 hours before airing the episode.]
[UPDATE from Thursday early afternoon and updated again Thursday night: In response to my inquiries whether the statement aired on South Park on Wednesday night was accurate, early this morning an official with media relations at Comedy Central gave me an evasive answer, "Well, not exactly." He then referred me to a Comedy Central VP who [was either away from his desk or on another call when I tried to reach him three times over a 15-20 minute period. Apparently, he promptly returned my call within a few minutes of my last morning call, leaving me a voice mail message that I didn't pick up until late Thursday afternoon, after I had already spoken with him.]]
But Stephen Spruiell at NRO now has a confirmation of the censorship claim made on South Park (and first posted here on VC on Wednesday night).
A spokesman for Comedy Central told NRO:
They reflected it accurately. That was a Comedy Central decision.
NRO goes on to say: "Just in case there was any confusion, that settles it. Comedy Central censored the image."
Comedy Central has now released a brief statement:
"In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision." ]
In Wednesday's episode, part II of "Cartoon Wars," Kyle (one of the boys of South Park) persuades the President of Fox TV to run a Family Guy episode with a short scene including Mohammed. Kyle lectures the head of FOX about the importance of free speech:
"You can't do what he wants just because he's the one threatening you with violence. . . .
Yes, people can get hurt. That's how terrorism works. But if you give in to that, Doug, you're allowing terrorism to work. . . .
Do the right thing, Mr. President. . . .
If you don't show Mohammed, then you've made a distinction between what is OK to make fun of and what isn't. Either it's all OK or none of it is. Do the right thing."
At the point in the South Park episode where Mohammed is about to be shown handing a football helmet (with a salmon on top of it) to the Family Guy, the screen shows these words:
"In this shot, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy."
The next screen shows these words:
"Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."
In the South Park episode, President Bush then sees the image of Mohammed supposedly broadcast on Family Guy (which Comedy Central censored us from seeing) and says,
"Hey, that wasn't bad at all. They just showed Mohammed standing there, looking normal."
Al Qaeda retaliates by broadcasting its own cartoon showing Americans, President Bush, and Jesus "crapping" on each other and the American flag.
"Al-Zawahri" then praises his retaliatory cartoon:
"Oh Yeah. Take THAT! We Burned you! That was way funnier than Family Guy."
Thus, from the South Park episode itself, it appears that tonight: "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."
To be certain of this, one would want confirmation from Comedy Central or the South Park creators.
Tonight's episode is being rebroadcast on Comedy Central at midnight ET Wednesday night and 10pm ET Thursday night.
It should be noted that a 2001 episode of South Park included Mohammed.
UPDATE: As one of the comments below notes, Comedy Central apparently allows South Park to show Jesus defacating on others and being defacated on, but prohibits showing Mohammed "just standing there, looking normal."
Unfortunately, until Comedy Central or Matt Stone and Trey Parker make clear whether South Park was indeed censored, one can't know for sure. The "play within a play" format renders things a tad uncertain.
FURTHER UPDATE: There is much more at
Malkin (including clips and links).
FURTHER, FURTHER (late Thursday afternoon) UPDATE:
This post has been updated here, here, here, here, including a link to the [fake] censored clip from Wednesday's episode. [I deleted a still picture here because it and the clip from which it was taken are fakes .]
Related Posts (on one page):
- We Hit the Big Time!
- Comedy Central Censored out of Fear, not Tolerance.--
- South Park Discussion Thread.--
- See the [FAKE] censored clip of Mohammed from South Park, now playing on the web.--
- Comedy Central Releases Brief Statement on Decision to Censor Mohammed.--
- Did Comedy Central Censor South Park?
- US sticks its head in sand to avoid seeing a Muhammed cartoon--coming to you on South Park tonight.--