The satire wheelhouse that is “South Park” continued its attack on China this week in response to the country banning the show for criticizing the Communist Party of China’s penchant for censorship.
“The writers of ‘South Park’ continued to tweak China in its latest edition, with Randy wearing a President Xi Jinping mask in the opening credits,” reported Deadline of this week’s episode. “The zinger recalled ‘South Park’s’ earlier poke at the lion’s cage. That, too, involved Randy, who was forced to shout out an epithet against the Chinese government.”
Later, the episode took a stab at disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s reemergence into the public spotlight, which occurred last week when women began heckling him while in attendance at a private actor’s event in New York. Here’ what TheWrap had to say of the joke:
Randy Marsh starts hallucinating after he smokes tainted weed that was laced with chemicals by his daughter, Shelly, who tried to destroy his marijuana crops. The altered pot makes him see scary images, including a zombie Winnie the Pooh (a reference to an earlier episode that was critical of China). He then calls the police to tell them he is being raped by Weinstein.
At the end of the episode, Randy wakes up a few days later and realizes that none of it was real until he finds a used condom in the trash.
“South Park” has been on an extended anti-China crusade this whole season, blasting anyone or, more precisely, any business that will censor itself in the name of doing business with the communist country. It all began several weeks ago when the episode “Band in China” angered the government to the point that the show was banned inside the country. Rather than cater to the country’s sensibilities, show co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker doubled down in their hits by issuing the most irreverent “apology” they could muster.
“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” Parker and Stone wrote. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all! Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
One week later, the show took the criticism one step further when the character, Randy Marsh, uttered the words “f*** the Chinese government” during an episode. That was quickly followed up with another episode that mocked basketball star LeBron James for criticizing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s public support for the Hong Kong protesters, which had sparked massive tensions between the NBA and the Chinese government.
The episode centered around the school implementing healthy options on the lunch menu, prompting anger from character Eric Cartman. Later, when Cartman confronted the students protesting in favor of healthy lunches, the protestors cited free speech as their reasoning. His reply nearly echoed the words spoken by LeBron James.
“Their protesting is ruining my lunch. Yes, we do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you are not thinking about others and only thinking about yourself,” Cartman said. “They’re trying to change peoples’ lunch. They don’t realize it harms people financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually.”