Sunday, July 16, 2006

'South Park' Makers Fear 'Tom Cruise Stink'

"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker knew they might anger Isaac Hayes with an episode mocking his Scientology religion, but decided to do it anyway.

"We're hypocrites if we don't make it for that reason," Parker told the Television Critics Association this week.

The soul singer had voiced the Chef character on the animated show since 1997, but quit earlier this year because of what he called the Comedy Central show's religious "intolerance and bigotry."

"It was so crazy because we got along so well. And that's where we were like, 'Wow, you really thought the show was fine until we did your religion, and now we're bigots,'" Parker said. "So that's why then we were like, 'OK, game on, (expletive).' And we did that first episode."

Stone said Hayes asked him and Parker to have the network pull the episode before it aired last November and not make it into a DVD. They told Hayes no.

"Trapped in the Closet," another controversial episode that skewers Scientology and its popular proponent Tom Cruise will rerun July 19. It was last set to repeat in March but was abruptly pulled by the network amid reports that Cruise had used his clout to bury it.

"We just picked the wrong guy to parody because I have a feeling we'll be asked about Tom Cruise for the next two years," Stone said. "Every time we're in a headline, it's like, Tom Cruise and then us in a headline, you start to get that Tom Cruise stink on you."


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