‘South Park’ doesn’t seem upset about being banned in China

Society & Culture

Congratulations are in order to South Park, which joins YouTube, Google Mail, Twitter, the New York Times, and a growing list of other tech and media entities to be banned and/or blocked in mainland China. (Alas, that list includes us.)

The cool part is that the CCP essentially keeping the story told in the episode going by doing this.
@realKyleOlbert @CharlieNash @shawnwzhang @HollywoodInToto pic.twitter.com/Wxh0GYx64Z

— Nick Taber (@TaberTooth) October 6, 2019

Reports Hollywood Reporter:

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.”

Let’s check with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show’s creators, to see how they’re taking this tragic news:

The ban was because of the show’s most recent ballyhooed episode, “Band in China,” which lampooned Hollywood for acquiescing to Chinese censors. The episode also featured Winnie the Pooh, famously banned in China because of his resemblance to Xi Jinping. (As Mickey Mouse says in the episode, “It’s a real thing, look it up.”)

It also, somewhat incredibly, features James Harden of the Houston Rockets, in a scene that would presage the drama that would unfold a week later when Rockets GM Daryl Morey incited a social media firestorm by tweeting his support for Hong Kong’s protesters.

Someone added Chinese captions and uploaded the episode to YouTube, below. We highly recommend watching it, if you haven’t already — or rewatching, because it’s worth it.