Streaming service HBO Max won’t offer five episodes of the popular cartoon series South Park because they satirize the Prophet Muhammad.
According to Deadline, the deletions were discussed with the show’s producers and agreed upon before HBO Max took the series. The TimeWarner-owned network was concerned because depictions of Muhammad violate Islamic proscriptions against showing images of Muhammad and other Islamic prophets. To prevent idol worship, Islam forbids statues, paintings, cartoons, and any other depiction of Muhammad.
In 2010, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker came under threat by radical Islamists over the issue, resulting in Comedy Central pulling the offending episodes at the time.
The episodes HBO Max will refuse to air include season five’s “Super Best Friends” and season 14’s “200 and 201.” These two episodes were also axed by Hulu and even removed from the South Park website. Also removed from HBO Max are season 10’s “Cartoon Wars Part I” and “Cartoon Wars Part 2,” although these episodes remain on the South Park website.
South Park regularly skewers the most controversial topics. Last year, for instance, the series scorched transgender athletes, but the show really caused a stir with an attack on Chinese censors. The long running show has depicted and satirized Jesus Christ and other figures from myriad faiths.
China banned South Park last year and Stone and Parker went on a tear roasting the communist regime over their censorship. The producers mocked China in a faux apology on Twitter:
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
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