South Park has a new home. As of today, June 24th, all 23 seasons of Comedy Central’s beloved animated series are streaming on HBO Max. Well, with the exception of five episodes.
The five episodes in question — “Super Best Friends” from season five, “Cartoon Wars Part I and Part II” from season ten, and “200” and “201” from season fourteen — either feature or reference a character based on the Prophet Muhammad. HBO Max agreed to exclude the episodes from its platform when it first acquired the series from Verizon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The same five episodes were previously pulled from television syndication and South Park‘s previous streaming home at Hulu.
The decision to remove the five episodes is due to “safety concerns,” as South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were previously threatened by Islamic extremists due to their portrayal of Mohammad. After initially being shown uncensored in the episode “Super Best Friends”, he was censored in subsequent episodes via a black bar, before Parker and Stone found a workaround by placing him inside a bear mascot outfit. Nonetheless, Comedy Central decided to pull all five episodes — to the chagrin of Parker and Stone.
Though these five episodes remain absent from HBO Max, 282 other South Park episodes are up for streaming, with plenty more on the way. Last September, Comedy Central renewed the show for another three seasons.
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