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The Scene In South Park That Had Fans Fuming

Ever since it hit Comedy Central in 1997, "South Park" has become one of the most influential shows on television. With its irreverent sense of humor, sharp use of satire, and crude animation, the series shows no signs of slowing down and refuses to pull any punches. Matt Stone and Trey Parker's magnum opus has lampooned everything from politics, religion, and real-world events to sexuality and social issues; there's nothing that the team behind the show feels is out of line. It's the reason why the show has become so popular, with people around the world still tuning in to watch the politically incorrect misadventures of Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny in their little mountain town of South Park, Colorado. 

Of course, with a show as relentless as "South Park," there have certainly been times when the series was met with major backlash and even threats towards the creative team. So much so that several episodes have been removed from streaming services and are out of syndication. 

South Park has a history with religion

Religion is definitely a sticky topic when it comes to comedy and satire, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker found their way around it by using "South Park" to make fun of every belief system. Indeed, the series has made fun of Judaism, Christianity, Mormonism, Atheism, Buddhism — you name it. But the executives at Comedy Central were nervous when the team decided to tackle Islam at a particularly sensitive time.

The series first tackled the religion in the 2001 episode "Super Best Friends," which featured a superhero team of religious figures such as Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, and Muhammad. The episode was initially not met with much controversy, but due to backlash years later, the episode was pulled (via IGN). Later, the 2006 two-part episode "Cartoon Wars" was meant to tackle the then-recent backlash of a Danish cartoonist drawing a caricature of Muhammad.

Cartoon Wars was the first instance of Matt Stone and Trey Parker being censored

"Cartoon Wars" focused on a fictional episode of "Family Guy" featuring Muhammed and the ensuing discourse of whether it was right or wrong. Matt Stone and Trey Parker had always been appreciative of Comedy Central giving them creative freedom, but this time, the network's executives forced them to remove the depiction from the episode (via CBS News). This led to the episode displaying a screen over Muhammad saying that the show — for the first time ever — was being censored. Not only did this leave fans of the show outraged, but it also angered Stone and Parker. Still, this didn't prevent the pair from tackling the subject again in the 2010 two-part story arc of "200" and "201," despite once again being censored. And this time, Comedy Central had to strengthen its security while Stone and Parker received death threats (via IGN).

While "South Park" has certainly faced its fair share of controversy since then, the creative minds behind the show have since veered away from Muhammad.