outh Park has evidently been banned in China after its latest episode which focused on Chinese censorship and American companies’ self-censorship to keep access to the Chinese market.
In the episode, Stan Marsh wants to make a profitable biopic on his band but is frustrated by Chinese censors literally looking over his shoulder as he writes the script and erasing anything that they don’t like. Eventually, he decides it’s not worth it.
“I can’t sell my soul like this,” Stan says. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art. I don’t care how many people you have. I’ve got something in me that just won’t let me be a part of all this.”
“I want to be proud of who we are and anybody who would betray who their ideals just to make money in China isn’t worth a lick of spit.”
You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China. #southpark23
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
Meanwhile, Stan’s dad, Randy, travels to China hoping to set up a marijuana business there but is soon arrested after arriving when marijuana is found in his luggage. He is thrown into prison with Winnie the Pooh and Piglet (“some people said Pooh looked like the Chinese president, so we’re illegal now”) and comes into conflict with Mickey Mouse who wants to make sure that Disney retains access to the Chinese market.
Randy, however, holds firm to his ideals, telling Mickey:
“You really think that business should be run through intimidation and fear? Whatever happened to old-time values? You already have business with the Chinese, you have all the connections money can buy, but there’s one thing you don’t have, that’s integrity.”
In the wake of the episode, South Park appears to have disappeared from the Chinese internet. Videos and episodes are nowhere to be found on Youku or Bilibili, searches on Weibo return no result, and articles on Baidu Baike about the show appear to have been deleted.
Of course, considering that South Park is known for its brand of outrageous and political humor, it’s really mostly surprising that this didn’t happen before.