Is it the wanton disregard for everyone’s religion, culture, and just general societal norms? Is that what’s gotten the Russkies all up in arms over Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s little South Park cartoon show? Nope. Apparently it’s a Christmas episode that features one of Parker and Stone’s favorite past times (and honestly, one of the things I hate about them) their overly self-indulgence on musical numbers. The episode in question is a Christmas-themed musical show called “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics”, which according to the Russians, is way too “extreme” for their country, and they’ve filed legal briefs to ban the show from the airwaves. I shit you not.
Here’s E! Online with your Russian TV News for the year:
Moscow prosecutors have begun legal proceedings aimed at taking South Park off the air and permanently banning the ever-controversial cartoon after proclaiming the ‘toon “bore signs of extremist activity.”
Although the series has long been running in a dubbed format on Russia’s 2×2 network, the episode “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics” that aired in January apparently went too far for officials by joining Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, Satan, Adolf Hitler and, of course, the titular friendly waste, for a medley of holiday tunes.
“It offends the honor and dignity of Christians and Muslims alike,” a statement from Moscow’s Basmanny regional prosecutors’ office said.
As Scientologists might say, welcome to the club.
The episode originally aired in the U.S. Dec. 1, 1999, and even spawned a companion CD.
Needless to say, the soundtrack has yet to be made available in Russia.
“In accordance with the conclusions made by experts from the court investigations committee, a claim has been filed against 2×2 for its broadcast of an episode of South Park,” prosecutors’ spokeswoman Valentina Titova said.
While the prosecutors’ office formally brought the charge against the network, the claim was first requested by the Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith, which asked for the ban after claiming 20 experts had studied the effects the Trey Parker and Matt Stone-conceived show had on young viewers and that the results were less than positive.
Wow. 20 experts can’t be wrong, right? So, er, the Russians didn’t have any problems with the episode where Satan and Saddam Hussein were gay lovers into S&M? God bless Vodka.
Below: The offending episode in question.