Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"South Park" voice Isaac Hayes quits over the show's mocking of Scientology

Better known as the "Why won't Tom Cruise come out of the closet" episode, it apparently pissed off the voice of Chef, Isaac Hayes who is a Scientologist.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

"South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he'>
Last November, "South Park" targeted the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called "Trapped in the Closet." In the episode, Stan, one of the show's four mischievous fourth graders, is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won't come out.

Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

It's one of the funniest South Park episodes ever, mocking Scientology (Stan is the reincarnation of L Ron Hubbard), Tom Cruise's sexuality (duh), and R. Kelly's 57 part song/miniseries about an affair in which he winds up hiding in a closet from the husband and somehow ends with a midget crapping his pants (I have no idea how it went from affair to midget, so don't ask). Isaac, I'm really disappointed in you. That show holds absolutely nothing sacred. They mock Christianity (the Passion of the Jew episode), Islam (the episode where the boys end up in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden and of course Team America), handicapped people (the cripple fight episode with Christopher Reeves, also one of the funniest ever), homosexuals (the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy episode or Mr. Garrison and his sex change, or Big Gay Al's boat ride), etc. Don't get your panties in a wad there Isaac. It's satire. Deal with it.

Though, come to think of it, I'd like to see Scientologists riot like Muslims over the Danish cartoons. That could be fun...

UPDATE: Commenters over at the official South Park Blog are hammering Isaac as a hypocrit.