10 TV Shows That Pushed the Limits of Censorship


'South Park'

Characters from the cartoon TV show 'South Park', including Elton John (rear) with (from L to R) Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny in a 1998 episode. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Characters from the cartoon TV show 'South Park', including Elton John (rear) with (from L to R) Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny in a 1998 episode. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The longest-running animated series on Comedy Central has been keeping censors busy since 1997. Show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are equal opportunity button-pushers, taking digs at all races, ethnicities, religions and political affiliations. Sometimes the jokes hit hard. In 2006, Stone and Parker wanted to comment upon a Dutch controversy. A newspaper printed editorial cartoons featuring the image of the Prophet Muḥammad, which is banned by Islam. The network did not want "South Park" to display Muḥammad's picture. The solution: hide the image behind a black box stamped "Censored."

Another issue with Islam came up in 2010, but this time Stone and Parker cut out the middleman and placed the black box over Muḥammad's image themselves. They also replaced the prophet's name with a bleep. They were trying, but Comedy Central added even more bleeps and refused to put the episode on "South Park's" website. It's just never enough ...

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