DHARAMSALA, 8 Oct: South park, the US’ second longest-running animated TV show has been banned in China following the release of its new episode that was critical of China.
The banned episode, titled ‘Band in China’ featured two controversial storylines that were critical of China, reports the Huffington Post.
“Turns out, the episode was prescient ― Chinese government censors have now deleted every South Park clip, episode and online discussion found on Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages,” the report added.
While one story followed a Hollywood producer trying to make a film about Stan’s band wherein the band is told not to mention the Dalai Lama, homosexuality, or Winnie the Pooh so that the movie wouldn’t be censored by the Chinese government.
The second storyline has Stan’s dad, Randy, in a Chinese labour camp. The story depicts horrific working conditions and Winnie the pooh as a prisoner. For the uninitiated, the Milne bear is a symbol of political dissent in China- the Chinese censors have been blocking images, GIFs and mentions of the bear across social media over its comparison with Chinese President Xi Jinping and over the growing popularity of the memes since 2013.
To make the matters worse, the release of South Park season 23, episode 2, correlated with Beijing’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Regime.
Though the has not been officially released in China, the report noted that a small but loyal fan base has enjoyed pirated versions for years.
The created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the adult animated sitcom is often riddled with dark humour, satire and profanity revolve around our grade-schoolboys.
Responding to the censorship, the creators have issued a ‘”hilariously snarky apology tweet that put everything into perspective (and took a shot at the National Basketball Association, which finds itself in the middle of a controversy with China),” the report added.
“Like NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy…….” the creators said in a tweet.
The NBA landed in hot water over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protest movement.