What would you do if faced with a radical Islamic group’s death threats? If you’re South Park, you’d go ahead and air an episode featuring Muhammad, but censor it to pieces by bleeping out any time a character says the words “Prophet Muhammad.” Plus, the prophet character himself would be covered by a black box labeled “censored.” That’s exactly what happened last night.
The threats stemmed from last week’s 200th episode of the animated comedy, in which Muhammad appeared but was disguised in a bear costume. RevolutionMuslim.com issued a warning aimed at the show’s producers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for insulting their prophet. The website, which has since been taken down, indicated that Parker and Stone might face the same fate at Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered by Muslim extremists following his depiction of the prophet.
Parker and Stone have since issued the following statement regarding the censored episode: “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.”