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After last week’s episode of South Park prompted a thinly-veiled death threat towards the show’s creators, Comedy Central has confirmed that last night’s episode was censored by the network due to security fears.
Last week’s 200th episode, with its depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a bear outfit, prompted extremist website RevolutionMuslim.com to post the following –
We have to warn Matt (Stone) and Trey (Parker) that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show.
– accompanied by images of Van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant, as well as information on the show’s production offices. Although Comedy Central declined to comment when the posting went live, last night’s episode of the show had every use of the words “Prophet Muhammad” bleeped out, and the character’s visual was obscured by a large black “censored” box. The Hollywood Reporter has the network’s confirmation that the changes were made by them, and not the program makers. Stone and Parker aren’t amused:
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.
Considering the show’s reputation, I doubt it’ll be too long before this subject gets addressed by the characters themselves…