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South Park episodes containing Prophet Muhammad removed from HBO Max

The Independent logo The Independent 25/06/2020 Isobel Lewis
© Provided by The Independent

Episodes of adult animation SouthPark containing depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were removed from HBO Max.

A month after the new streaming service launched in the US in May, all 23 seasons of the Comedy Central cartoon were added to the platform on Wednesday (24 June).

However, five episodes of the controversial comedy containing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad did not make the cut, with sources telling Deadline that the missing episodes were discussed and pulling them was ‘agreed upon in advance’.

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It is seen as a violation of Islamic beliefs to physically depict Muhammad in any way, as idol worship is forbidden in the religion, including that of images, drawings and statues.

In 2010, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were first threatened for depicting the prophet, prompting the episodes to be pulled from streaming.

Of the five episodes removed from HBO Max, three are also unable to stream on the South Park website.

Matt Stone (L) and Trey Parker (R), co-creators of South Park, pose on arrival for BAFTA's 2012 Britannia Awards on November 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) © Getty Matt Stone (L) and Trey Parker (R), co-creators of South Park, pose on arrival for BAFTA's 2012 Britannia Awards on November 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) South Park is the latest cartoon to battle with problems of racism, with actors Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate stepping down from voicing black characters on Central Park and Big Mouth respectively.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman came under fire again for featuring Alison Brie as a Vietnamese-American character, with creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg calling the decision a “racist error”.

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