‘South Park’ episode pushes boundaries by showing Muhammad

Robert Rich

“South Park” has done it again. The Comedy Central cartoon, known for pushing the boundaries of conventional humor and what is (and isn’t) OK to broadcast on television, has once again caused controversy in regards to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

A few seasons ago, the show stirred things up in an episode that referenced the fact that Muslims are not okay with depictions of the prophet in cartoons or drawings. After much teasing, the show eventually showed Muhammad — but covered him with a large black “CENSORED” box. This time around, they tried to do it again.

As part of their two-part 200th episode celebration, the “South Park” creators crafted an episode in which all of the celebrities the show has made fun of over the years came together for one major lawsuit against the town, led by Tom Cruise and the ultra-huge Barbra Streisand robot, Mecha-Streisand.

The episode centered around handing over Muhammad, who possesses a special goo that makes him impervious to ridicule, to the ginger (redheaded) kids. For a while there, we thought maybe, just maybe, the revelation would actually happen.

Then, came the episode. When the time came to finally reveal their depiction of Muhammad, it was once again blocked out by a censored box, and all mentions of the prophet’s name were bleeped out. To make things even worse, Kyle’s ending speech, an aspect of the show that always makes the moral of the episode very clear, was bleeped as well. For a short while, many people thought the show’s creators had caved under network pressure, but that isn’t the case at all. The episode they sent to Comedy Central didn’t feature the bleeps and showed Muhammad clear as day. Comedy Central made those changes in light of a post on a radical Islamic website that warned “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone that they’d probably be killed if the episode aired.

I’m not trying to wreak havoc here, but come on. The same episode of “South Park” that had Muhammad devotees rioting also showed depictions of Jesus looking at porn and Buddha smoking a crack pipe. I think we can all agree those things never happened, so who cares if “South Park” shows it? If you’re not a fan of the show, don’t watch it.