Long-running American TV cartoon show South Park is known for their blatant satire of current events, and their latest “Band in China” episode was a scathing look at Chinese censorship, and most especially western companies bending to the Chinese censors. The episode was so critical that it resulted in the entire show being censored from the Chinese internet.
The new episode, seen here, sees Stan and the boys form a metal band to rebel against Stan’s dad, Randy, trying to grow his marijuana farm. Randy finds out many other companies are going to China for quick cash, so he departs for the far east in hopes of getting rich quick. Randy gets arrested in a Chinese airport for bringing marijuana to China, and is put into a prison work camp.
While in the prison work camp Randy is forced to recite pro-communist China propaganda, and discovers that Winnie the Pooh has been imprisoned (with Piglet in tow) as well. This is a direct nod to China’s president, Xi Jinping, who previously got compared to the iconic bear as a joke. This also resulted in censorship, with Winnie the Pooh being erased from China’s internet.
From there things unravel as Mickey Mouse threatens many other companies, mascots, and key staff to keep in line with China and its censors. The producer for Stan’s band even says “you gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you wanna suck on the warm teat of China.” Later in the episode, a montage featuring protests in China, prison work camps, and more is shown as well.
Coming from this, it makes sense the Chinese censors have basically erased all mentions and content from South Park from their internet, which resides behind the “Great Firewall.” This includes Chinese streaming services, and even social media sites like Weibo and Baidu.