South Park "Feud"

Sorry, something here doesn’t add up to me. The show has been lampooning virtually everything for years now. It is awfully late in the game to decide that you are offended. It is not as if he hasn’t been doing this for years.

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) — Soul singer Isaac Hayes said Monday he was quitting his job as the voice of the lusty character “Chef” on the satiric cable TV cartoon “South Park,” citing the show’s “inappropriate ridicule” of religion.

But series co-creator Matt Stone said the veteran recording artist was upset the show had recently lampooned the Church of Scientology, of which Hayes is an outspoken follower.

“In ten years and over 150 episodes of ‘South Park,’ Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews,” Stone said in a statement issued by the Comedy Central network.

“He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show.”

He added: “Of course we will release Isaac from his contract, and we wish him well.”

In a statement explaining his departure from the show, Hayes, 63, did not mention last fall’s episode poking fun at Scientology and some of its celebrity adherents, including actor Tom Cruise.

Rather, Hayes said the show’s parody of religion in general was part of what he saw as a “growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs” in the media, including the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs … begins,” Hayes said.

The crudely animated cartoon, heading into its 10th season next week as one of Comedy Central’s biggest hits, centers on the antics of four foul-mouthed fourth graders in the town of South Park, Colorado.

Outlandish religious satire has been a mainstay of the show since its debut on the Viacom Inc.-owned network in 1997. The series grew out of two short films by Stone and collaborator Trey Parker — “Jesus vs. Frosty” and “The Spirit of Christmas,” the latter featuring a martial-arts duel between Jesus and Santa Claus over the true meaning of Christmas.”

Here is a link to the Spirit of Christmas. Warning, some of you may be offended by this, but as I mentioned earlier this came out many years ago. “Chef” may not be in this one, but it is indicative of the “spirit” of the show. Didn’t he watch this one before he decided to participate in the show.

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7 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack March 15, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    Haven’t forgotten about all of you. This does seem to be a little inconsistent.

    Where was his outrage when he joined the show. Maybe it is about money, or maybe not.

    In any case it is way too late to start complaining now.

  2. RR March 15, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Is he serious? As Alice said, the show is so offensive in so many ways (the reason it’s so great!) and making fun of religion is the least of it. But only NOW, after all these years, he’s offended?

    Just off the top of my head, there was an episode about man-boy love. THAT didn’t bother him? Come on.

  3. Richmond March 15, 2006 at 10:20 am

    Too bad. I will miss Chef, but I love the irreverence of South Park!

    And that Tom Cruise/Scientology episode was hilarious!

  4. Chickadee March 14, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    I think it’s about money. His contract or whatever was up for renewal, he didn’t like the money offered and so this was the perfect excuse to get out.

    I could be way out in left field, but that’s what I think about it.

  5. brianna March 14, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I love the show. It makes fun of everything and everyone. It doesn’t specifically target anyone. If he wants to leave, fine. But it’s kinda sad cuz Chef is one of my favorites.

  6. Stacey March 14, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    Ridiculous. He can dish it out..

  7. Alice March 14, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    He has a right to change his mind, but I agree that this is odd. Making fun of religion is the least of it when it comes to that show.

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