It's no mystery that South Park has become a platform for social commentary, and their latest episode Band in China has decided to comment on Hollywood culture and the shaping of content to please Chinese censors. What's funny is, the show has gone a new kind of meta with the Chinese censors doing exactly what the show was accusing them of.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, any clip or existence of South Park has been scrubbed clean off the Chinese internet, from streaming services to social media. If you're curious what exactly the episode was about, there's this short clip that expresses the main message of the showrunners clearly:
With China being a huge chunk of the market that the show had just lost, executive producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker don't seem to have any regrets. Here's the ‘apology' they issued after the ban:
"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," the statement reads. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?"
China and its government are currently undergoing a lot of scrutiny for their censorship (especially with the Hong Kong protests going on), and I think it's hilarious that South Park managed to play their system like a fiddle. As the show itself put it, "You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China."
We don't know how all of this is going to end, but you can catch South Park now on its 23rd Season on Comedy Central.