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Television

‘South Park’ creators shade China in faux apology for banned episode

South Park
A still from “South Park’s” Oct. 2 episode, “Band in China.”
(Comedy Central)

The creators of “South Park” have responded to China’s ban of their critical “Band in China” episode with a very on-brand “official apology” that wasn’t an apology at all — more of a plug for the Comedy Central show’s upcoming 300th episode.

Like the NBA, we welcome Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone quipped Monday on social media. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday. Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful.”

The animated series’ creators ended by asking: “We good now China?”

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Though China was at the heart of the episode in question, the show also eviscerated Hollywood for catering to the authoritarian nation by altering content to avoid censorship by its communist government, which provides a large share of overseas revenue for major studios.

Those critiques were highlighted in one bit about Randy being sent to a Chinese work camp after selling weed and another about the boys forming a metal band with an accompanying biopic that has to be edited before China will distribute the film.

When the U.S. and China struck a landmark deal in 2012 to pry open the Asian country’s vast film market, Hollywood salivated.

The Oct. 2 episode didn’t go over well with Beijing, which apparently responded by deleting all clips, episodes and discussions of it from its highly regulated internet, including social-media sites, the Hollywood Reporter said.

That didn’t appear to matter to the show’s creators though. Their cheeky Monday statement could potentially escalate the feud — or, at the very least, drive viewership to the episode stateside.

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