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Trey Parker and Matt Stone receive a death threat after 200th episode of South Park airs: Difference between revisions

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Revision as of 00:48, 5 August 2022

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This time, The Simpsons had not already done it.

On April 14, 2010, the fifth episode of the fourteenth season of South Park, titled "200" for being the 200th episode altogether, aired for the first time on Comedy Central. Nearly a week later, before the conclusion to the cliffhanger the episode ended on came out, the Revolution Muslim organization’s website featured a suspicious post telling creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone something horrible would likely happen to them for depicting the Prophet Muhammad.[1]

Threat

Zachary Adam Chesser, also known as Abu Talhah al Amrikee, the post’s author, claimed it was simply a warning rather than a threat, but was found to have also Tweeted the day after "200" premiered: "May Allah kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker and burn them in Hell for all eternity. They insult our prophets Muhammad, Jesus, and Moses."[2] Chesser was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his threat, along with other terrorism-related offenses.[3]

Reaction

A very wide range of media commentators did not believe Chesser that his Revolution Muslim post was not a threat.[4][5] The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart accused Revolution Muslim of attempting to stifle the very free speech that members of their organization frequently exercise their rights to,[6] while Ex-Muslim Islamic critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali labeled the post "an assault on the freedom of expression" by "one group of people" from "one religion that is claiming to be above criticism."[5] The Simpsons also defended South Park during the controversy, with the coincidentally-timed Season 21 episode “The Squirt and the Whale” having the blackboard gag: "South Park—we’d stand beside you if we weren’t so scared", although some Fox-affiliated stations changed it last minute to: "Je ne suis pas français (I am not French)".[7]

Response

South Park Studios removed "200" from its website a week after its debut,[8] while "201", the second half of the two-parter, was never available on the site in the first place.[9] "201" was heavily censored by Comedy Central as well, with every instance of the name "Muhammad" and even long blocks of dialogue bleeped out.[10] Both "200” and "201" were never rerun on Comedy Central after their original air dates, and are unavailable on all streaming services, including HBO Max in the US and Paramount+ internationally.[11] However, they are available on the Region 1 Season 14 DVD,[12] albeit with "201" still censored the way it was on television.[13]

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