The latest episode of the hit animated comedy series South Park took direct aim at censorship by the Chinese government, and was subsequently censored itself, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The episode in question was “Band in China,” the second episode of the show’s twenty-third season. After the episode poked fun at Chinese censorship, the Chinese government responded by banning the episode from the airwaves, and completely scrubbing any clips and mentions of the episode from the internet in China.
Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone apparently expected this exact response, and issued a satirical “apology” statement that also mocked the N.B.A’s recent capitulation to China, which read in part, “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our home and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy.”
The episode also mocked several American companies’ compliance with Chinese censorship in editing and promotion of their films, including Marvel and Disney. Several days after the episode aired, South Park’s official Twitter account further acknowledged the ban, quoting a line from the episode that said “You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China.”