'We good now China?' South Park creators issue mock apology after ban

Facetious statement comes after reports that show was banned in China after episode critical of the country

South Park’s creators have responded with a mock apology to reports that China has censored the programme, ridiculing the country and comparing President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

The “apology” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone comes after reports on Monday that China had scrubbed all episodes, clips and content related to the long-running comedy cartoon from Chinese streaming and social media platforms in response to a recent episode that was critical of the country.

The episode, called Band in China, took aim at what it portrayed as a tendency in US culture to adjust content to accommodate Chinese censorship laws. “It’s not worth living in a world where China controls my country’s art,” says one character in the episode.

The episode also includes a plot line in which a character is caught selling drugs in China and as punishment is sent to a work camp, similar to the mass internment camps in Xinjiang where an estimated one million people, including Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are detained.

Watch the full episode - https://t.co/oktKSJdI9i@THR article - https://t.co/nXrtmnwCJB pic.twitter.com/Xj5a1yE2eL

— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019

South Park’s creators posted a statement on Twitter under the headline: “Official apology to China from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which said: “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts.”

The NBA has been in damage control this week after Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, expressed support for the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in a now-deleted tweet. The NBA distanced itself from Morey’s position in response to complaints from NBA sponsors in China and Chinese media companies refusing to broadcast Rockets games, although NBA chief Adam Silver defended Morey’s right to freedom of expression.

“We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all,” the statement continued, referring to China’s ban on the AA Milne character, after widespread circulation of memes comparing China’s president Xi Jinping to the honey-loving teddy bear.

Winnie the Pooh is banned in China, after memes circulated comparing the character to President Xi Jinping.
Winnie the Pooh is banned in China, after memes circulated comparing the character to President Xi Jinping. Composite: Allstar/Disney/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The statement continued: “Tune in to our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”

Chinese social media platform Weibo shows no results for the search term “South Park” in English or Chinese at the time of writing, though it does show truncated results if the search term is mixed language. Searching for the show on Reddit-like forum Baidu Tieba results in the notice: “Sorry, the results will not be displayed in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”

Video platform Youku also returns no results, though some clips still appear on Tudou, another video hosting platform. The Band in China episode is not one of them.


Stephanie Convery and Yang Tian

The GuardianTramp

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