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‘South Park’ Co-Creator Matt Stone Explains Why Critics Trashed Dave Chappelle: ‘To Keep Their Jobs’

"I feel bad for television critics and cultural critics ... "

SEPTEMBER 01: attends The Paley Center for Media presents special retrospective event honoring 20 seasons of 'South Park' at The Paley Center for Media on September 1, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Tibrina Hobson / Contributor / Getty Images

Matt Stone, co-creator of "South Park," lamented the "cancel culture" climate in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (THR), wherein he accused critics of lying about their dislike of Dave Chappelle's recent Netflix comedy special "Sticks & Stones" in order to stay in the good graces of the woke crowd.

 

"It's new," Stone said of cancel culture. "I don't want to say it's the same as it's always been. The kids are f***ing different than us. There's a generational thing going on."

"South Park" has been hit by cancel culture on many occasions, with various parenting advocacy groups working to have the show pulled off the air for nearly two decades. When it comes to Dave Chappelle, Stone doesn't believe the comedian will be canceled anytime soon — but he did lament how critics trashed his Netflix special.

"I know some people have been canceled for genuinely, like, personal behavior, but Dave is not getting canceled anytime soon," Stone told THR. "I feel bad for television critics and cultural critics. They may have laughed like hell at that, and then they went home and they kn[e]w what they ha[d] to write to keep their job. So when I read TV reviews or cultural reviews, I think of someone in prison, writing. I think about somebody writing a hostage note. This is not what they think. This is what they have to do to keep their job in a social media world. So I don't hold it against them."

 

In the same interview, Stone said that he and Trey Parker now feel bad for trashing Al Gore with the "ManBearPig" episode, which was an extended metaphor for climate change. To apparently "atone" for this sin, the pair recently produced a politically correct apology episode in which Gore was actually right about ManBearPig.

 

"We just felt like, of all of our episodes, that one has not aged very well," Stone said. "And we came up with a funny idea how to use ManBearPig as a parable. I always felt like if we were going to rewrite that or comment on it or atone, whatever you want to call it, it's in kind. In other words, we didn't want to say in some interview, 'Well, we don't feel so great about that episode.' It doesn't feel as good as 'F**k that, we'll do a whole two-parter.' And it is not just atoning. We beat ourselves up pretty good."

That being said, Stone and co-creator Trey Parker said that they were glad to steer the show away from trashing Donald Trump, which it did for nearly all of last season, and plan to explore more fertile comedy territory.

"It was nice for us," Parker said. "It was nice to not come in and talk about Donald Trump. And I think it was nice for people to watch and go, 'Oh, yeah, there is still comedy outside of f**king Donald Trump. There is still funny sh*t as the world goes on.' And you can get your Trump comedy on so many other shows."

"We can make a funnier show with Garrison and that whole story, but there is other stuff that is more fun," Stone added. "But then again, if we came up with something tomorrow, we'd do it. We don't have any rules."

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