In the wake of news reports about the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," a Fox News host has decided that a bigger and more professionally made production, "South Park," should come under fire.
Todd Starnes, host of "FOX News & Commentary" and author of "Dispatches from Bitter America," spoke on a panel about "Religious Hostility in America" at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this past weekend, and Cartman and friends were on his mind.
"We have seen the administration come out and say, 'We condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.' And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film," Starnes said. "Well, that's well and good, but my question is: When has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like 'South Park,' which has denigrated all faiths? Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?"
"South Park" has famously taken on religions of all kinds. Scientology is parodied in an episode where Stan is thought to be the reincarnation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and Scientologist Tom Cruise wouldn't come out of Stan's closet. Mormonism is mocked in an episode where Stan is impressed by a Mormon family's behavior, if not convinced of their beliefs. Cartman constantly makes fun of Kyle, the lone Jew among the four main characters. Catholicism, especially the child-molestation scandals involving priests, has also been targeted by the show.
"South Park" also portrayed Muhammad. In its fifth season, the show featured the "Super Best Friends," a superhero group led by Jesus and consisting of Muhammad, Buddha, Moses, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Laozi and an Aquaman parody called Sea Man. The episode first aired on July 4, 2001, before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of that year, and there was little fuss when Muhammad was portrayed. But when the show tried to show a Muhammad character in 2010, Comedy Central altered the episode.
In June, a Muslim man pled guilty to threatening the "South Park" creators over the 2010 episode and was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison.
Fantastic. I'm sure Matt and Trey are already figuring out a way to work this into the new season.