I am a fan of both Indiana Jones and South Park, and last week’s mid-season premier of the Comedy Central hit didn’t bother me in the least. For a strange reason, I felt no remorse, and I sat idly by and watched George Lucas and Steven Spielberg rape Indiana Jones again… and again… and again…
And then there was that poor Stormtrooper. Oh, the humanity!
Even though I loved this summer’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I can respect Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s grief in watching what they consider their childhood hero get pounded in the ass by two of the most powerful movie moguls alive. I even give them credit for including Steven Spielberg in the blame and not just George Lucas (who is an easy target for fanboys the world over).
South Park has a rich history of offending people. I was waiting for some fallout from this episode pissing off somebody… the National Organization of Women protesting a cavalier attitude towards rape… Paramount Pictures mad at one of their own networks for airing the show on the week before the Indy 4 DVD release… the Organization of Chinese Americans fighting back against Eric Cartman’s racist diatribes (the episode was called “The China Problem,” after all)… I’d even buy the 501st Legion standing up in support of their own.
But the Anti-Defamation League? Apparently so. Earlier this week, Anti-Defamation League spokesperson Myrna Shinbaum told the New York Daily News, “South Park has been offensive and has had very anti-Jewish pieces in the past. We understand that the show is trying to satirize, but it may get lost on those who are haters.”
What the fornication?
Is there anyone out there besides this nutjob that saw this episode as antisemitic? I can’t say that South Park hasn’t given the ADL plenty of problems in the past, but there was nothing in this episode at all that even acknowledged Spielberg’s religion.
Is the ADL saying that anyone of the Jewish faith should be protected from biting satire, even if it is entirely appropriate and has nothing to do with their religion? Did they think that South Park‘s railing of Mel Gibson in the famous episode “The Passion of the Jew” was inappropriate for Christians or whack-job celebrities? I doubt it.
Sure, there’s plenty of antisemitic material thrown around in the South Park universe, but it usually comes from Eric Cartman… a hilarious character but hardly a role model. In fact, Cartman often serves as the strawman of racism, sexism and antisemitism to make the satire work. But this episode had nothing to do with Judaism. Parker and Stone were venting their frustrations over the fourth Indiana Jones movie, plain and simple.
Normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t bother me, but according to WENN News via IMDb, “bosses at Paramount Pictures have scheduled a meeting with executives at its parent company, which produces the Comedy Central series.” This is pretty vague, but I’m bothered by this mysterious meeting, and this is why…
The day after I read this story, my DVR recorded a rerun of South Park. According to the listing, it was to be a replay of “The China Problem,” the episode in question. However, when I watched it, it saw a rerun of “My Future Self n’ Me,” featuring the more benign storyline of Stan and Butters’ future selves warning them against drug use while Eric Cartman opened a revenge business.
The bottom line is that I’m just sick of people getting offending over television and movies. You’ve got families of the mentally challenged offended at Tropic Thunder. You’ve got Hindus offended at The Love Guru. You’ve got blind people offended at Blindness.
What’s next? The League of Buddhist Methodists getting offended over George Lucas raping a Stormtrooper?
Suck it up, people. It’s called satire, and it’s protected under the First Amendment.