Censoring South Park Essay

2257 words - 9 pages

Dick Cavett, a famous American talk show host, once said, “Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself.” Censorship limits free speech, and it is used constantly today. In South Park’s situation, the writers use logic and evidence to express their opinions on controversial issues, and people think that it should be censored. Just because the show uses morally questionable techniques, does not mean that it is useless. In fact, South Park has taught people a lot; it changes our point of view and encourages us to think deeply about the issues at hand while simultaneously making us laugh. For people unfamiliar with South Park, it is an animated comedy television which airs on Comedy Central. The show revolves around four children living in a small Colorado town and their adventures. South Park has received harsh criticism for its profanity, violence, and offensiveness, but these claims are exaggerated and outweighed by South Park's use of satirical comedy which educates its audience about current events and moral values.
Some viewers of South Park have deemed the show to be vulgar and think that it should not have been made. Critics say that young children are watching the show, and they are developing dirty mouths. The episode, It Hits the Fan, was notably criticized for its use of the word “shit.” South Park kept a tally of how many times the word was used, and the number reached 162. The Parents Television Council, an advocacy group aimed at stopping harmful television programming, is one of the main forces behind censoring South Park. They also criticized South Park for its use of the racial slur, nigger, during the episode With Apologies to Jesse Jackson. Groups like The Parents Television Council believe these words are corrupting children, and the only thing we can do is censor the show. These groups do not only criticize the use of profanity in South Park.
Another huge controversy South Park has created is their depiction of religion. South Park has parodied almost every major religion so it is understandable that many people are offended. In the episode, Trapped in the Closet, South Park basically calls Scientology a global scam. The LDS church responded to the episode, All About Mormons, by calling it a gross portrayal of the LDS church. The creators of South Park claim that any topic is subject to ridicule, but, because of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, South Park has censored images of Muhammad. While they have not been able to ridicule Islam directly, – which is something that the creators never planned to do until this controversy arose – they still mock the censorship controversy itself. Christianity is, by far, the most often parodied religion in South Park. Arguably, the most offensive parody South Park has done involving Christianity is the depiction of Jesus. In South Park, Jesus has his own talk show and appears to be just ordinary. As a recurring character,...

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