South Park: Why Episodes "200" and "201" Were Banned – Screen Rant

South Park is well known for its crude and controversial material, however, some episodes have caused such an uproar that they are now banned.

South Park is well known for its crude and controversial material;however, there are some episodes that have caused suchan uproar that they are now banned from Comedy Central, South Park Studios website, and any streaming platform that airs the show. While there are five episodes banned in total, season 14 episodes "200" and "201" sparked an enormous outcry from Middle-Eastern terrorism groups over their planned depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

Released in 1997,South Park became known for its crude animation and subject matter, before pivoting to more political, current-events-based satire. Still, despite its offensive material, the show has earned itself an array of awards and accolades, such as Primetime Emmy Awards, and its success has not waivered, remaining one of Comedy Central's most-watched shows.

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Censorship was at the heart of episodes "200" and "201," with series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone taking a strong stance against it. The episodes upon airing, however, were censored; even the dialogue at the end of "201" was completely bleeped. The creators weren't happy with the network's decision (as per a statement South Park Studios released), which was no doubt increased by the fact that an image of Muhammad had already aired in 2001 during season 5 episode 3's "Super Best Friends."

Ross Douthat of The New York Timesstated thatthe move to censorSouth Park was a result of the Danish newspaper,Jyllands-Posten,running unflattering images of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, which lead to global riots and death threats. In Islam traditions, the Prophet is not allowed to be depicted in any way. Despite this, the newspaper ran the images, and even with outcries from several prominent Muslim groups, the paper did not back down.

In the United States, tensions were high between the West and Islamic people due to the 9/11 terrorist attack. While US news outlets covered the controversy, they did not reprint any of the depictions of Muhammad, even though the US values freedom of speech and the press. For the US, religious sensitivity along with a larger population of people of the Islamic faith was a more important factor.

Episodes "200" and "201" revolve around pastSouth Parkepisodes, storylines, and controversies, with Trey Parker and Matt Stone pushing the boundaries of censorship, especially in the case of Muhammad. Irritated that they could show Jesus and other religious icons, the inability to display Muhammad becomes a focal point of the episode. Throughout the story, past celebrities, angered by the town of South Park for continually ridiculing and mocking them, want to steal the powers Muhammad has to not be shown or insulted.

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After episode "200" aired, threats were leveled against both creators of the show and Comedy Central if they depicted the image of Muhammad further. Revolution Muslim, a group known for advocating the end of western imperialism, had an author post to Twitter wishing death and Hell for both Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Additional threats and veiled references were made comparing the creators to Dutch director Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered after a film he made portrayed violence against women in some Islamic societies.

While Trey Parker and Matt Stone continued to advocate against censorship and defended their work, Comedy Central heavily censored the episode in order to protect its employees. Further, they went back and removed "Super Best Friends" from the South Park lineup, as well as censored "Cartoon Wars Parts 1 and 2." WhileSouth Park has released episodes in the past that have pushed the boundaries enough to warrantcensorship, episodes "200" and "201" are notable due to their focused plot points, as well as the threats that were leveled against both show creators before the episodes even aired.

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Jeff lives and breathes TV shows, movies, and video games. He's built his own media/gaming PC to house all of his media. Trained as a Screenwriter, Jeff dreams of being a Showrunner one day. His encyclopedic knowledge of TV shows allows him to write on a wide array of topics. Recently, he's been exploring Screenwriting for Virtual Reality. He draws from his love of science fiction, horror, drama, fantasy, and real-world politics/religion to craft his stories. In addition to writing, he has a passion for teaching, as well as Technology, Science, and Space Exploration.

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South Park: Why Episodes "200" and "201" Were Banned - Screen Rant

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