The writers of South Park have jokingly apologised after a new episode called ‘Band In China’ led the show to be banned in China.
The episode pokes fun at Hollywood, specifically the way they alternate TV and film in order to please the Chinese government.
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The government, in due course, has wiped the show, and almost every episode – and even mention – of South Park has been removed from the internet in the country, as The Hollywood Reporter notes.
In a tweet promoting the episode, South Park said: “You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China.”
You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China. #southpark23
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
In the wake of the apology, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone jokingly pledged their allegiance to China’s Communist government.
“We welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and hearts,” the apology from the pair said. “Long live the Communist Party!”
In the controversial episode, Randy Marsh is arrested after travelling to China to expand his marijuana business.
“I am a proud member of the Communist Party,” Randy reads from a card while imprisoned. “The party is more important than the individual.”
After witnessing a guard shooting a prisoner in the head, Randy is sent to an overcrowded cell where he begins chatting to Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
In 2017, images of the AA Milne characters were blocked in China after people compared him to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
“Some people said Pooh looked like the Chinese president, so we’re illegal in China now,” says Piglet.
As for the ban itself, if you try and access an existing South Park thread on China’s biggest online forum, the following message appears: “According to the relevant law and regulation, this section is temporarily not open.”
Last month, South Park was officially renewed for three more seasons, and it’s already the longest-running animated series behind The Simpsons, as well as the longest-running prime-time scripted series.