South Park creators break silence over shows backlash

South Park: Teaser for ‘The Worldwide Privacy Tour’

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Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who created the long-running cartoon South Park, have broken their silence on the taboo issues their show often tackles amid the controversy attached to their roast of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a recent episode.

An episode titled The Worldwide Privacy Tour has caused an uproar after the cartoon launched a series of attacks against the ex-royals.

The recent instalment followed the Prince and Princess of Canada as they embarked on a publicity stunt to promote the Prince’s new book.

In a recent appearance, the South Park creators addressed the backlash they receive and admitted they often create content with the intention of “getting sued”.

The writers also noted how the majority of backlash to some of their more controversial episodes often comes from those who consider themselves right-wing.

Parker and Stone featured on this week’s instalment of the Basic! Podcast, where they recalled some of the controversies their cartoon has generated over the years.

The duo admitted to the podcast’s hosts Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney when it comes to unexpected backlash “there are so many moments we can’t even remember.”

Continuing: “It was all coming from the right, we were considered counterculture. The Catholic League are always on our a*** – it kind of always came from that side.”

The conversation then swiftly moved on to South Park’s infamous episodes centred around actor Tom Cruise and his controversial faith in Scientology, titled Trapped in the Closet and Coming Out of the Closet.

“Everyone knew Scientology was so litigious. People in Hollywood were scared of Scientology at the time because they would just sue you”, as they looked back at the time the Cruise episode aired.

The pair also touched on their 2020 MTV Movie Awards special, which humorously imitated Russell Crowe’s Gladiator and John Travolta’s Battlefield: Earth, which was “the first time” they “got into a thing with Scientology”.

The short resulted in Scientologist Isaac Hayes, who played Chef, asking if a rep from The Church of Scientology could see the short before it aired.

Matt and Trey recalled “letting the clock run out” when it came to sending a preview to the rep and how it resulted in becoming “the first time we got into a thing with Scientology”.

The South Park creators went on to confess: “I think that got us going. The Tom Cruise episode was really about getting sued.”

The creators’ wishes to get sued almost came to fruition after The Worldwide Privacy Tour episode aired last week.

It was clear the controversial cartoon had possibly hit a nerve, with reports suggesting Meghan Markle had been left “upset and overwhelmed” with her portrayal in the show.

But in a statement given to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Harry and his wife shutdown all speculation that they are planning to sue South Park over the satirical episode, dubbing the rumours as “boring and baseless”.

American royal commentator Kristen Meinzer, told Newsweek it was easy to see why the couple were not taking legal action.

Meinzer said: “I highly doubt Meghan and Harry are suing a satirical cartoon that famously ridicules everyone.

If anything, they’ll know they’re in good company with other decent people who’ve been raked over the coals by the show.”

South Park has previously ridiculed former Vice President of the US, Al Gore and his efforts to combat climate change, and the show also famously made fun of Steve Irwin for being killed by a stingray, just a few weeks after his death.

South Park is streaming on Paramount+ in the UK.

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