"South Park" airs censored episode after threat

Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:30am EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Satirical animated TV show "South Park" beeped out the words Prophet Muhammad and plastered its Wednesday episode with the word "CENSORED" after being issued a grim warning by a U.S. Muslim group.

The irreverent comedy show on Comedy Central also substituted a controversial image seen last week of the Prophet Muhammad in a bear outfit with one of Santa Claus in the same costume.

It was not immediately clear if the move was a bid to tread carefully following the warning against the "South Park" creators, or if they were poking fun at the fuss.

The little-known group RevolutionMuslim.com posted a message on its website earlier this week warning creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker "that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show."

The website posted a graphic photo of Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant over a movie he had made that accused Islam of condoning violence against women. It also posted a link to a news article with details of a mansion in Colorado that Parker and Stone apparently own.

Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam as offensive.

The website warning followed the first in a two-part episode of "South Park" a week ago in which Prophet Mohammad was depicted in a bear outfit.

"South Park" has a history of biting satire against politicians, celebrities and the media. The two Colorado filmmakers are known to often work on "South Park" until just before they air, enabling them to react to current events.   Continued...