All 23 seasons of South Park are now available on HBO Max — minus five episodes.
The absent episodes all feature depictions of the prophet Muhammad: season five’s “Super Best Friends” (Jesus and the Super Best Friends, including Muhammad, to stop David Blaine), season 10’s “Cartoon Wars Part I” and “Cartoon Wars Part II” (Cartman tries to get Family Guy canceled, while everyone else literally buries their heads in the sand) season 14’s “200” and “201” (the ones where Tom Cruise threatens to file a lawsuit against the town of South Park, unless he can meet Muhammad). These episodes were also pulled from broadcast rotation and weren’t viewable on Hulu, either:
In October 2019, HBO Max landed the 23-season library in a deal that was expected to be worth as much as $500 million… Former Comedy Central head Doug Herzog [said] in 2016 that censoring and then pulling “200” and “201” was done as a matter of safety due to threats. “We were protecting everyone who works here. That was the decision we needed to make,” he said then. “That was the hardest we’ve ever pushed back [over the show’s content].”
In response to the two-parter being censored, Parker said, “What pissed me off about episodes ‘200’ and ‘201’ was that I thought the episodes ended up being really good. We were so exhausted by it all, we were like, ‘F*ck it, just get on to the next episode.'”
Not having those five episodes, especially “Cartoon Wars” (although, unlike “Super Best Friends” and “200”/”201,” those episodes are available on South Park Studios), is a shame, but HBO Max wants to avoid any sticky situations. At least there’s 302 other episodes to choose from. Good lord, South Park has been on for a while.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)