Ok, first off China obviously can’t handle a joke. In this case the popular American television show ‘South Park’ made a hilariously accurate jab at China and they lost it. China responded by not just banning their show from airing on their networks but completely erased all trace of the cartoon from their internet.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the most recent episode of South Park, “Band in China,” has been generating loads of media attention for its sharp critique of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors in any way whatsoever.
Now, those very same government censors, in the real world, have lashed back at South Park by deleting virtually every clip, episode and online discussion of the show from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.
A cursory perusal through China’s highly regulated internet landscape shows the show conspicuously absent everywhere it recently had a presence. A search of the Twitter-like social media service Weibo turns up not a single mention of South Park among the billions of past posts. On streaming service Youku, owned by internet giant Alibaba, all links to clips, episodes and even full seasons of the show are now dead.
And on Baidu’s Tieba, China’s largest online discussion platform, the threads and subthreads related to South Park are nonfunctional. If users manually type in the URL for what was formerly the South Park thread, a message appears saying that, “According to the relevant law and regulation, this section is temporarily not open.”
You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China. #southpark23
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
You can watch the full episode here, if you get the chance. To give you an idea of the ‘offence’ that got them banned; in the episode, Randy gets caught attempting to sell weed in China and is sent to a work camp similar to the “re-education” internment camps in the Xinjiang Province.
While detained, Randy runs into an imprisoned Winnie the Pooh, an apparent knock on China’s decision to heavily censor images of the character, who has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The episode also depicts characters Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters forming a metal band that becomes so popular that a movie about the group begins production.