“South Park,” Comedy Central's highly crass and irreverent animated comedy, was merciless in its 18th-season premiere Wednesday night, taking aim at the Washington Redskins and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
In the plot, the boys create a start-up company so they can make money through Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding website.
Finding that all the most outrageous names are trademarked, Eric Cartman decides they should call themselves the Washington Redskins, which is allowed since the trademark for the team name was pulled recently because of its offensiveness to Native Americans, who have been trying to get the team to change its name. The boys begin to make a lot of money thanks to the name recognition.
Then the show turns its attention to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who has stood firm in his refusal to change the team name.
A cartoon of Snyder fights with Cartman over use of the name. Snyder tells the boys use of the name is "offensive and derogatory" to the football team, echoing what many have said of the team name in reality.
A commercial for the show that ran only in D.C. markets during Sunday’s Washington game showed Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III with Snyder, but "South Park" creators redid the scene by the time the episode aired to use backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is playing in place of an injured RG3, as he's known.
The scene was redone Tuesday night, show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker told The Times.
“It was a difficult decision. We really like RG3, but, ultimately, we thought Cousins was a better fit for Gruden’s offensive scheme,” the duo said in an email.
Attempts to reach the Washinton team for comment were unsuccessful.
From there, the show turned its attention to Goodell and his handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal.
Playing actual clips from Goodell’s most recent news conference — which was criticized heavily — the show made the cartoon Goodell out to be a malfunctioning robot that never gives a straight answer. The robot was put in place by NFL team owners, who eventually agree that he's no longer working properly.
“South Park” averaged 2.4 million viewers and ranked as the most viewed show across both cable and networks Wednesday night among men 18-34 and men 18-24. It was the No. 1 cable program for viewers 18-49.
The series generated 87,000 mentions on Twitter with six trending topics (New South Park, Bro Down, RG3 to Kirk Cousins, GoodellBot, GoRedskins, GoFundYourself).
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