In the most recent episode of South Park, “Band in China,” Randy travels to China to expand his Tegridy pot business and ends up imprisoned in a labor camp where he meets Winnie the Pooh, who is — and this part is real — banned in the country for looking like Chinese president Xi Jinping. In the B-plot, although it’s more of a second A-plot, Stan is approached by a movie producer who wants to make a biopic about Crimson Dawn, his metal band with Kenny, Butters, and Jimmy. Stan happily agrees, but his enthusiasm wears off when he learns how sanitized (censored) the film will be to appeal to international audiences. “We live in a time when the only movies that us American kids go see are the ones that are approved by China,” Stan says at one point.
Also, Randy murders Pooh. Oh bother.
As you might imagine in an episode that exposes the country’s human rights violations, China is not a big fan of South Park right now. Or ever (the show isn’t officially released there), but especially after “Band in China,” as pointed out by Inkstone News:
Discussions of American satirical cartoon South Park have disappeared from the Chinese internet after the show mocked Beijing’s human rights practices in a recent episode… South Park has no official releases in China, but pirated versions have for years been circulating among its small but loyal fans – many of them young, well-educated people familiar with American culture. (Via)
If you search for “South Park” in English or Chinese on popular social platform Weibo, nothing pops up, while movie review website Douban has scrapped its entire archive for the show. The WeChat warning is even more worrisome: “As Chinese citizens, we also need to follow Chinese laws and regulations. Hope everyone can stay rational.”
For everyone else, you can watch the episode here.