South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably saw this coming, and to their credit, they simply don’t care.
The most recent episode of South Park“The Band in China,” has been attracting a lot of media attention for its harsh criticism of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending its censors. Chinese government in any way.
Now, it is the government censors who, in the real world, have lashed out South Park by removing virtually every clip, episode, and online discussion of the show from China’s streaming services, social networks, and even fan pages.
A glance at China’s tightly regulated internet scene reveals that the animated series has been conspicuously absent from everywhere it’s been lately. A search of a social media service similar to Twitter’s Weibo shows no mention of South Park out of billions of previous posts. On the Youku streaming service, owned by internet giant Alibaba, all links to clips, episodes and even seasons of the show are dead.
And on Baidu’s Tieba, China’s largest online discussion platform, topics and sub-streams related to South Park is non-functional. If the user enters the URL manually for the URL that was South Park subject, a message appears saying, “According to relevant laws and regulations, this section is temporarily unavailable.”
A harsh reaction is natural for China’s authoritarian government, which is even known for its aggressive censorship. Winnie the Pooh because some local internet users have affectionately compared Chinese president Xi Jinping to the character.
On Monday afternoon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone released statement with a fake apology about the ban.
“Like the NBA, we welcome Chinese censors to our homes and hearts,” the statement read. “We also love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune in for our 300th episode at 10pm this Wednesday! Long live the great Chinese Communist Party. Pray for a bountiful autumn sorghum harvest. We are good now China? “
South ParkThe episode “The Band in China” has a pair of plots that criticize China. One involved Randy being caught trying to sell weed in China and sent to a labor camp similar to those used by Beijing in Xinjiang province to detain millions of Chinese Muslims. for political propaganda. (While at the labor camp, Randy ran into the captive Winnie the Pooh.)
The second plot follows Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters forming a metal band, which becomes popular and attracts the attention of a manager who wants to make a movie about them. But then the script kept changing so that the film could be safely distributed in China.
“Now I know how Hollywood screenwriters feel,” Stan said at one point while a China guard watched him and changed his work as he wrote the script. Some of the footage was shot at Disney, including Mickey Mouse appearing to make sure all his employees (other Marvel and Disney cartoon characters) play ball with the Chinese authorities.
You have to lower your freedom ideals if you want to suck the warm Chinese nipples. # southpark23
Watch “The Band in China”: https://t.co/GQEQL9ynCs pic.twitter.com/RepekgO3j9
– South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
Criticism of the episode proved to be particularly timely in light of the controversy currently swirling around the NBA. On Sunday, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued a tweet expressing his solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Although it was just a single tweet, from one of hundreds of NBA executives, the message sparked a wave of criticism in China, where the Hong Kong protests have become an issue. politically heated, with Beijing’s propaganda machine working hard to shape local opinion the movement as anarchist and unconstrained by legitimate political grievances. Chinese TV stations announced they would stop broadcasting Rockets games, and local sponsors withdrew their money from the team.
Clearly fearful of the financial implications of the Chinese backlash, the Rockets and the NBA declined Morey’s comment.
October 7, 11:30 am Updated with statement from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
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