Earlier this month, the Comedy Central cartoon, South Park, was taken from Hulu to Warner Media’s new streaming platform HBO Max. All 23 seasons of the comedy are available to stream on its new streamer with the exception of 5 episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Super Best Friends” from the fifth season, both parts of “Cartoon Wars” from the tenth season, and “200” and “201,” both from the 14th season, were pulled from the series due to their depiction of the religious figure in Islam, the Prophet Muhammad.
South Park follows the adventures of four grade school boys in South Park, Colorado. The show’s creators, Matt Stone (Team America: World Police) and Trey Parker (Despicable Me: 3) voice most of the male characters, including the four that belong to the main cast, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick. Kyle and Kenny are voiced by Stone while Stan and Eric are voiced by Parker. The plot of the two part pulled episodes “200” and “201” revolves around the Hall of the Super Best Friends which is an organization consisting of religious figures, including the Prophet Muhammad. His character was blacked out and his name was bleeped when the episodes initially aired. Meanwhile, the fifth season episode “Super Best Friends” consists of the boys discovering David Blaine performing in South Park as they decide to join his cult which consists of several religious figures, including Jesus and Muhammad. Lastly, the two part episode “Cartoon Wars” features the announcement that a Family Guy episode will feature Muhammad as a character which then leaves the rest of the cast fearing for their lives. Eric then believes that the episode is highly offensive to Muslims and travels to California to get the episode pulled.
When they first aired, the episodes, with the exception of “200” and “201,” were pulled from the broadcast while all episodes were unavailable to stream through their previous streaming platform at Hulu. In a statement made in 2016, former Comedy Central Head Doug Herzog (The Daily Show) ensured that pulling these episodes was done to provide a matter of safety due to threats they received, “We were protecting everyone who works here. That was the decision we needed to make,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
In October, HBO Max landed the series in a deal that was believed to be as much as $500 million. The series shows no signs of termination as it was just renewed through 2022.