When it comes to unapologetic irreverence, there are fewer shows that upset people from all walks of life like South Park. The series' creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are no strangers to controversy, and have a free-for-all mentality whenever it comes to comedy. They will ridicule any and everyone they feel like. What's truly fascinating about South Park is that they've managed to pretty much offend everyone at one point.
But that's mostly because the show manages to stay so culturally relevant, thanks to the quick episode turnaround time. The team that Trey and Matt have assembled, coupled with the show's unique, but simple animation style means that they're able to write, voice, and shoot an episode in about a week, sometimes as little as three to four days because they efficiently utilize every single one of the program's 70 staff members.
This means that significant cultural events, like Obama winning the presidency, could be satirized in an episode about the fervor surrounding his successful campaign in record time.
It's hard for anyone to argue with the success of the show. Many believe that it's only gotten better as time has progressed and, after 23 successful seasons with no signs of slowing down, it's easy to see why that's the case.
It might just be that quick turnaround is why we see so many 'South Park' controversies.
This quick turn around time doesn't allow the show's creators to stop and worry about who they might offend, but it's pretty evident that they've never cared about that in the first place. South Park is satire, after all. Which means that the show can't go a few years without drumming up some sort of controversy. Most recently, She-Hulk writer, Dana Schwartz, fired off a series of tweets that criticized the program.
Dana lambasted South Park for taking a stance of indifference and claimed that, by distributing their ridicule to each group equally, they've taught viewers that mockery is the correct response to any situation, especially when it comes to politics or social justice issues.
In her thread, she acknowledged that the show isn't directly responsible for it and the onus might be more on fanboys of the program who get off on "intellectual superiority".
People are now trying to "cancel" 'South Park'....again.
Since her message appeared on Twitter, which is known for its "reductionist swarm" user mentality, throngs of people took this as "cancelling" South Park, which is kind of hard to do, as some 307 episodes of the show have aired and it continues to be one of Comedy Central's most relevant and popular programs.
Others began chiming in to turn the issue into a "SJW Feminist vs The World" kind of narrative, pointing out some of Dana Schwartz's past tweets to turn it into that kind of battle.
For the most part, fans and non-fans of the show propounded that the entire basis of South Park's existence is satire, and that the very definition of the medium is to highlight perceived absurdities of certain philosophies and social constructs, regardless of personal bias.
This is 'South Park's newest controversy, but they had another recent one with their apology to China
To list all of the times people were offended by South Park or Trey Parker and Matt Stone would take forever. Thankfully, one doesn't have to dig too far back into the past to see when South Park last created widespread controversy. After a recent episode criticizing the Chinese government resulted in the program being banned in the country, Trey and Matt issue the following "apology":
In typical South Park fashion, they only doubled down on their original joke, much to the delight of the show's viewers all over the world. Well, except certain people involved in the Chinese government who issued the ban in the first place, that is.
What do you think of the latest South Park controversy? Does Dana have a point? Or does satire go both ways, even if you disagree with the things the show's criticizing?