March 15, 2006

News > Isaac Hayes Quits South Park Over Religious Satire

Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef on South Park, has quit.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

South Park's been pretty rough on religion (and everything else) since the beginning. The pilot episode featured a fight between Jesus and Santa Claus. Cartman calls Stan a "stupid Jew" all the time. In one episode, blood from the ass of a Virgin Mary statue cures people's illnesses. In the world of South Park the public access TV show "Jesus and Pals" has been a regular feature. So why did Hayes quit now?

"South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem - and he's cashed plenty of checks - with our show making fun of Christians."


Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

Chef is a Scientologist? Dude, that's fucked up! Here's what other bloggers are saying.

James Taranto:

Well, after all, it's one thing to mock Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Evangelicals, blacks, gays, whites, Mexicans, Asians, Canadians, Frenchmen, people with birth defects, women, transsexuals, Democrats, Republicans, lawyers, cops, cows, people with red hair and freckles, goths, the handicapped and fat kids. But satirizing Scientology--that's just intolerant!


What Hayes fails to mention is that he is full of it. For example: if he truly meant this, he probably wouldn’t have taken money for the episode in which Chef boxes Jesus and knocks him out with a single blow.

Anyway, I have faith that Matt Stone and Trey Parker will handle Chef’s departure with their customary aplomb. Look to see Chef die a particularly bloody, horrible, and painful death.

Ace of Spades surprised pretty much all of his regulars including me by defending Isaac Hayes:

I think Stone's being a prick, personally. When you do intentionally offensive humor, it can hardly come as a shock that some are, yes, offended.

I dig South Park. I've liked its hits on the strange beliefs of Mormons and Scientologists. But I hardly think it's outrageous for a Scientologist to get particularly upset when his own religion is attacked. In a perfect world, yes, we'd all be just as sensitive about the beliefs of others as we are of our own. But we don't live in that world; we live in reality.

The guy quit a show. It's his right. Does he have to be called a mercenary hypocrite for doing so?

Comedy Central is playing the Scientology episode Wednesday night at 10:00 PM Eastern. Outside the Beltway has the episode for online viewing.

UPDATE: Comedy Central decided not to re-air the episode. There are claims that Tom Cruise threatened to not promote his new movie, Mission Impossible III if Paramount (which owns Comedy Central) allowed the episode to re-air. Paramount denies those claims, but they seem to have decided to censor themselves for whatever reason when it comes to either Scientologists or Hollywood celebrities.

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack


It is Isaac's right to quit. However, he shoud expect people to be sceptical when he claims that he was concerned by the disrespect of spirital beliefs other than those of scientology.

Posted by: Tony M at March 16, 2006
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