South Park episodes on HBO Max featuring Prophet Muhammad not included in streaming deal

South Park episodes on HBO Max featuring Prophet Muhammad not included in streaming deal
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HBO Max is offering all 23 seasons of Comedy Central's animated series "South Park" on its streaming service, but it won't offer five episodes that depict the Prophet Muhammad.

The decision to not include the episodes comes after Hulu took similar steps. They were also taken down from the official "South Park" website.  

HBO Max licensed "South Park" in 2019 in a deal estimated at more than $500 million.

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The five episodes in question were not made available for streaming by Comedy Central or South Park Studios in the deal struck with HBO Max, according to a source familiar with the matter, nor were the five episodes made available to any other streaming service, including Hulu.

News of the removed episodes comes after HBO Max reintroduced the film "Gone With The Wind" on Thursday with "multiple historical contexts" around the 1939 film that many see as romanticizing slavery.

The Oscar-winning picture was pulled from HBO's streaming platform earlier this month following an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by "12 Years A Slave" screenwriter John Ridley, who called for its removal.

The series, which launched on Comedy Central in 1997, has been renewed for three more seasons by Comedy Central, which is owned by ViacomCBS.

South Park was banned in China last year after mocking Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Updated at 3:12 p.m.; June 16, 2:46 p.m.