On Monday, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone responded to reports that the series' latest episode, "Band in China," had been scrubbed from Chinese internet and social media due to its theme of media censorship in that country. It's not everyday that your point gets made so easily but, hey, sometimes you get lucky.
In their statement, Parker and Stone offered up a tongue-in-cheek apology while also poking fun at the NBA and promoting their soon-to-air 300th episode.
"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy," they wrote. "Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
The episode featured Randy going to China to expand his marijuana business. He gets arrested and subsequently sees harsh treatment of Chinese prisoners in a work camp. Two of those prisoners—spoiler warning—include Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, who were banned in the country after memes comparing Pooh and Chinese president Xi Jinping were popularized. The secondary plot also sees Stan reject the idea of making a movie of his reunited band Fingerbang (shoutout to Season 4) because he doesn't want to sanitize the film to appease Chinese censors.
The apology's NBA reference is a nod to this past weekend, when Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted out support for pro-democracy protests currently being waged in Hong Kong. The NBA was criticized for putting out a statement distancing themselves from Morey after the Chinese Basketball Association suspended their relationship with the Rockets.