Controversial 'South Park' Episode Still Slated for DVD11 Jan, 2006 By: John Latchem
The recently aired “South Park” episode “Bloody Mary” will appear on DVD, despite complaints from religious groups, according to representatives of Comedy Central, which airs the show.
The episode, which depicted a statue of the Virgin Mary spraying blood onto the Pope, aired Dec. 7, 2005, to conclude the animated series' ninth season. According to reports, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights immediately condemned the episode and sought an apology from Viacom, Comedy Central's parent company. The reports stated Viacom board member Joseph A. Califano Jr., a Catholic, sided with the religious group and agreed to pursue a ban of the episode, which was subsequently pulled from the schedule.
Viewers who e-mailed Comedy Central to complain about the network caving in to outside pressure received an automatic response that stated while the episode was not included in a year-end holiday marathon of “South Park” episodes, it did air in its normally scheduled repeat time slots.
The letter, signed by Comedy Central Viewer Services, states: “As satirists, we believe that it is our First Amendment right to poke fun at any and all people, groups, organizations and religions and we will continue to defend that right. Our goal is to make people laugh, and perhaps if we're lucky, even make them think in the process. Despite misleading claims from those who would like to claim victory, we have not permanently shelved the ‘Bloody Mary' episode from future airings due to outside pressure nor will we exclude it from future DVD releases.”
South Park: The Complete Seventh Season streets March 21 from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment. Extrapolating from the previous release schedule, the ninth season would likely hit shelves sometime in late 2007.