After speculating all day as to the reasoning behind last night’s heavily censored episode of South Park, we finally have an official comment from Trey Parker and Matt Stone themselves. Not long ago, this statement was posted to the South Park Studios website:
“In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it.”
So there you have it: All our theorizing that the bleeping—particularly during the final speech—was some sort of commentary on the ridiculousness of censorship was apparently misguided. For whatever reason, Comedy Central deemed that final speech about dealing with “intimidation and fear” too inflammatory for broadcast, so they covered it up with what may go down as the most egregious bout of bleeping in television history. The statement doesn’t indicate any intention on Parker and Stone’s part to release the text of that speech, or to allow viewers to see the uncensored version of the episode at any time in the near future, so it looks like we’ll have to wait and see whether it shows up on the DVD. In the meantime, yeesh, what a mess.