It seems that Isaac Hayes. who plays Chef in South Park, has quit over the hilarious scientology episode, "Trapped in the Closet."
Hayes, a scientologist himself, said "There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins."
"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."
But I think Matt Stone said it best; ""This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians" and that he and Trey "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."
See, this is typical. Hayes was bang onboard when South Park was bashing christians, jews, moslems, in fact, every religion except scientology. But when it's his beliefs under fire, suddenly it's time for "respect and honour".
Here's a hint: when religious folk talk about respecting beliefs, they almost always mean respecting their beliefs. When they talk about tolerance, they almost always mean you tolerating them.
I cannot wait to see how they deal with this in the show. Maybe Chef will be killed off in some horriffic accident? Maybe they'll keep the character on with some sort of Mr/Mrs Garrisonesque sexchange op? Maybe Parker and Stone will just find someone who can do a reasonable Chef impersonation and hire them to do the voice? Whatever it is, this ain't over.
Here's a little postscript/edit:
It's gratifying to see that the christians have somehow managed to find away to turn this whole thing - South Park vs scientology - into, and I quote, "Catholic bashing."
I shit you not.