South Park is once again in trouble for mocking people who really don’t like being mocked (or criticized at all)—the Chinese government.
China has deleted or blocked any links to South Park clips or discussions of the show from its state-controlled internet and streaming services after the episode “Band in China” aired last Wednesday.
The episode mocked China for censoring critical media and roasted Hollywood for appeasing the authoritarian government in exchange for access to Chinese markets.
When news of the South Park scrubbing reached creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, they issued a clearly sarcastic “apology.”
Parker and Stone reference the NBA due to a recent controversy around a tweet made by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that expressed support for the protesters in Hong Kong who successfully fought off a bill that would have given China greater control over the autonomous city. In response to the now-deleted tweet, Chinese broadcasters have said that they will stop airing any Rockets games and local sponsors dropped the team.
1/ I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 7, 2019
Both the Rockets and the NBA felt compelled to denounce Morey’s tweet and issue an apology to China.
All of this took place just days after the airing of South Park’s “Band in China,” which depicts one character getting sent to a work camp meant to evoke the facilities where up to a million Chinese Muslims have been held for what very much appears to be brainwashing to erase any trace of their Muslim culture. Other characters find themselves writing a script for a film under the watchful eye of a Chinese guard to ensure that nothing in the script could offend the authoritarian government.