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South Park creators issue mock apology over China censorship controversy

'Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,' wrote South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have issued an "official apology" after an episode of the show caught the attention of Chinese censors. (South Park Studios)

After Chinese censors reportedly pulled South Park from its online offerings, the edgy cartoon's creators are slapping back on Twitter.

The controversy began last week, after the episode "Band in China" criticized the country's human rights record and widespread censorship.

In one story thread, Randy gets caught trying to sell pot and ends up in a work camp, where he meets Winnie the Pooh — a reference to China's ban on the 2018 film Christopher Robin.

In another story line, Stan, Kenny, Butters and Jimmy start a metal band but have to navigate Chinese censors. 

Officials reportedly removed all episodes of South Park, as well as social media fan pages and any discussion of the show. 

Now in response, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have offered a tongue-in-cheek "Official Apology."

"Like the NBA we welcome the Chinese sensors into our homes and into our hearts," write Parker and Stone, referencing a different controversy involving Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey who tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in China. The NBA later apologized.

"We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all," reads the tweet. "Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn's sore gum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?"

South Park debuted in 1997, and most episodes are written and produced shortly before going to air, allowing the creators to respond to very recent events. The show's 300th episode airs Wednesday. 

About the Author

Jennifer Van Evra is a Vancouver-based journalist and digital producer for q. She can be found on Twitter @jvanevra or email jennifer.vanevra@cbc.ca.

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