December 29 2005

South Park Episode Banned?

On December 7th, Comedy Central aired the ninth season’s finale of South Park. The episode was entitled “Bloody Mary” and dealt with the dual themes of Alcoholics Anonymous and a statue of the Virgin Mary that was bleeding from the ass. Yes, it was the typical South Park oddness. Yes, it was gross. Yes, it was funny. And finally, yes, it was offensive.

Isn’t that what South Park is all about though? Has there ever been an episode that didn’t offend at least a few people? South Park is about irrevrance and flying in the face of established icons of society. They have taken on just about every icon you can think of from the goverment, to religion to terrorism, and Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, has always stood by them. Not this time.

After the December 7th airing of “Bloody Mary”, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights started complaining to Viacom about the episode for portraying the Virgin Mary and Pope Benedict XVI in such a manner. (The Virgin Mary statue shot blood on to the Pope) Last night, December 28th, Comedy Central was scheduled to show the episode again, but without explanation, the episode was replaced with a much older episode. When the press contacted Comedy Central for a comment, they did not respond. The Catholic League did get a response from Joseph A. Califano Jr., a member of Viacom’s board, who also happens to be a Roman Catholic. He was offended by the episode and promised to have Viacom president and CEO Tom Freston take a look at the episode.

Folks, let me make it clear, I am NOT attacking Catholics for being offended by this episode, or even their calling for the episode to be yanked. I believe they had every right to complain about this episode. What I am complaining about is Comedy Central/Viacom caving in to the complaints. Again, this is a case of political correctness rearing it’s ugly head. The most powerful vote a person has is their remote control. If you don’t like what is on, turn the channel! Why should anyone tell me what I can’t watch? I find lots of things offensive, but I just simply turn the channel and don’t worry about it. I don’t see any reason that my view of the world should be forced on to everyone else. Viacom should have told the Catholic League they appreciated their comments, but that is what the show is about and they would go their seperate ways.

The big question now is what will happen to the DVD release. The Catholic League called for the episode to not only not air again, but they also want the episode kept out of the season nine DVD set. Viacom pulled the episode, all screen caps have been removed from the South Park press site and from the South Park section of Comedy Central’s website. If they caved this much, will they do it on the DVDs also? An item that a person has to choose to pay for, choose to put in their DVD player and choose to push play? The idea that any group can dictate what I watch, even to the point of what I put in my personal player…it makes me sick. This is the United States of America, home of the free? Land of free speech? Well…only so long as someone doesn’t whine about it, then it’s Land of the Whiners.

Let me stress this again…if you don’t like what’s on, turn the channel on YOUR TV, not on mine.

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