'South Park' banned from Chinese internet after critical episode: report

'South Park' banned from Chinese internet after critical episode: report
© "South Park" on Comedy Central

“South Park” content has reportedly been scrubbed off the internet in China after a controversial episode critical of Chinese censorship and the detention of Muslim minorities. 

The Hollywood Reporter noted on Monday that Chinese government censors have begun deleting every clip, episode and online platform of the show from its highly-regulated internet. 

Searches on the social media site Weibo turn up zero “South Park” content. Links to episodes and full seasons of the Comedy Central show on streaming service Youku are dead, according to the outlet.

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A message reading "According to the relevant law and regulation, this section is temporarily not open” reportedly turns up on a “South Park” thread on China’s largest discussion platform, Baidu’s Tieba.

The ban on “South Park” content reportedly follows a recent episode entitled “Band in China,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the episode, Randy gets caught attempting to sell weed in China and is sent to a work camp similar to the “re-education” internment camps in the Xinjiang Province where possibly more than 2 million Muslim minorities have been held. 

While detained, Randy runs into an imprisoned Winnie the Pooh, an apparent knock on China's decision to heavily censor images of the character, who has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The episode also depicts characters Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters forming a metal band that becomes so popular that a movie about the group begins production. 

However, the script is altered to make it more marketable in China like Disney or Marvel movies.

"Now I know how Hollywood writers feel," Stan says at one point while he is watched by Chinese guards.

“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone invoked a controversy surrounding the NBA in an “official apology to China” posted on the show's Twitter account Monday, writing they “welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts.”

“We too love money more than redeem and democracy,” the note reads. “Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all … Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest by bountiful! We good now China?”

The tweet came after Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey voiced support for the thousands of pro-democracy protesters that have taken to the streets of the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong in recent weeks.

The Chinese Basketball Association responded by suspending ties with the Rockets.

Morey deleted his initial tweet. He also later issued a statement on Twitter, saying he did not intend "to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China."

The NBA issued its own statement, saying on Sunday it recognized that Morey's comments "have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable."

Some U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the NBA’s response, accusing the league of putting money over human rights.

The Hill has reached out to Comedy Central for comment on the reported Chinese ban of "South Park."

--This report was updated at 2:49 p.m.