More Trouble in Toontown

What’s really going on in the bucolic mountain of South Park? The story so far…

Last week Issac Hayes, the voice of Chef, quit South Park over the ‘toons "inappropriate ridicule of religious communities.” Seems Hayes, himself a Scientologist, wasn’t too fond of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s take on his cult religion.

Hayes hadn’t voiced any concerns over the series treatment of Christians, Jew and Mormons, but no matter. Let him go said Parker and Stone. Then Trapped in the Closet, the episode that started it all, was pulled from Comedy Central. Blogs soon suggested that Scientology’s No. 1 public face Tom Cruise had flexed his Hollywood muscles and threatened not to promote Mission: Impossible 3 (both Parmamount and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom.)

This, of course, was denied by Cruise’s flaks, causing Parker and Stone to reply: "So, Scientology, you may have won this battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will not stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

But did Hayes actually quit? A Fox columnist reports that Hayes suffered a stroke in January and had been recovering ever since, with friends stating that he did not issue any statement. “That certainly begs the question of who issued the statement that Hayes was quitting "South Park" now because it mocked Scientology four months ago. If it wasn’t Hayes, then who would have done such a thing?”

In the last round Parker and Stone opened the new season of South Park with the return of Chef, using previously recorded dialogue. I won’t be able to see it as it won’t air in Canada for a bit, but I’m sure it will appear on You Tube in a few hours. Of course, it could all just be a publicity stunt to get people to watch the show by stirring up some controversy. But a show like South Park wouldn’t stoop to that, would they?

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