By Joe Otterson
LOS ANGELES (Variety) – The creators of “South Park” have responded to their latest controversy in true “” fashion.
After reports surfaced that the Comedy Central series had been scrubbed from Chinese internet and social media sites in response to their latest episode, Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a statement that reads, “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. 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 ?”
In the episode, titled “Band in China,” Randy Marsh travels to China to sell marijuana from his farm in the Chinese market. He is subsequently arrested and witnesses harsh treatment of Chinese prisoners, which includes Pooh and Piglet, who were banned in the country after memes comparing Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Pooh circulated online. In the same episode, a producer wants to make a movie about Stan Marsh’s new band, but tells Stan they must remove certain elements to make it palatable to Chinese censors.
Over the weekend, Daryl Morey, general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, put out a tweet that expressed support for pro-democracy protests currently going on in Hong Kong. In response, Chinese sports, government, and business groups condemned the tweet and moved to cut ties with the Rockets. The NBA put out a statement Sunday distancing themselves from Morey’s words.