Friday, March 17, 2006

what the fudge?

By now, you have probably heard about Isaac Hayes, voice of South Park’s beloved sage Chef, quitting the show abruptly this week over an episode that aired last November because it made fun of Scientology, Hayes’s “religion.”

And, by now, you have probably read South Park co-creator Matt Stone’s response that

In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show.

And, you’ve probably heard that Chef, I mean, Hayes wasn’t quittin’ mad when the episode in question, “Trapped in the Closet,” initially aired, but that just maybe someone had since suggested he give up about the best thing he had going. . . .

And, maybe you tuned in to Comedy Central on Wednesday night, as I did, to watch a rebroadcast of “Trapped in the Closet,” only to instead be treated to a rerun of the Sundance comes to South Park episode where Chef sings “Chocolate Salty Balls.”

And maybe you, like I, said, “What the fudge!”

And maybe you, like I, got to wondering. . . .

Well, Mark Ebner of Hollywood, Interrupted is confirming our suspicions:

Sources from inside Paramount and South Park Studios report that parent company Viacom pulled last night's scheduled repeat of the high-rated "Trapped in the Closet" episode after the humorless Scientologist movie star Tom Cruise threatened to cancel all publicity for Mission Impossible:3 [sic] if Comedy Central aired the episode that satirizes Scientology and mocks his sexuality again.

Not only is this the first time that the South Park creators have been officially censored in their ten hit seasons with Comedy Central, Viacom officials also reportedly ordered Matt Stone and Trey Parker not to discuss the reason why their episode was cancelled.

I don’t know whom to hate more here, Viacom or Cruise, so I’ve decided to hate them both as one entity. Behold the birth of “VIATOM.”

Will we all bow down to Viatom? Not yet. HI has posted a very watchable YouTube of “Trapped in the Closet,” and damn funny it is, too.

Take that, Viatom. In the words of Eric Cartman, “Ha ha, charade you are.”

Oh, but there’s more. The New York Post (via HufPo) is reporting that the FBI has questioned Nicole Kidman in a “mushrooming investigation” into illegal wiretaps made by a private investigator hired by Tom Cruise’s attorney during the Cruise-Kidman divorce of 2001.

So, let me get this straight: Tom Cruise has bullied a man out of job he’s had for nine years, intimidated the media into quashing a broadcast he found personally embarrassing, and has now been found to suborn illegal wiretaps.

Who does Cruise think he is, the president?

Update: The second Hollywood, Interrupted link is not working quite right for some reason. If it directs you to an index page, click on the March archive “view full” and scroll down to “HI Exclusive: Scientologist Tom Cruise Blackmails Viacom.”


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