Chinese authorities have removed virtually all of the excerpts, episodes, and online discussions of the South Park animated series from online cinemas, social networks, and fan pages in the country. According to THR, the authorities were displeased with the episode Band in China (“The Group in China,” consonant with Banned in China – “Blocked in China”), which criticized attempts at self-censorship in Hollywood to avoid business problems in China.
Mention of South Park disappeared from Weibo microblogging service. In the Alibaba-owned Youku Online Cinema, all links to clips, episodes, and even full seasons of the show no longer work. Also, all topics and discussions about the animated series on Baidu Tieba, the largest Chinese communication platform, have ceased to be active. If users manually enter the URL of a previously created South Park branch, a message appears that says “this section is temporarily not open in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.”
In the episode “Band in China,” Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters create a metal band that becomes popular, and then they want to make a movie about them. But the script is constantly changing so that the film can be shown without problems in China.
“Now I know how Hollywood writers feel,” Stan says when a Chinese guard watches him and changes his work while he writes the script. The series also makes fun of Disney – in one of the scenes, Mickey Mouse controls that all his employees (other characters from Marvel and Disney) do not speak out about Chinese politics.