Those of you who came to see the unedited South Park episode 201, I must regretfully inform you that we have been forced by the pussies that be to take it down. We originally posted this video because, unlike them, we are not afraid of terrorists, Al Qaeda, Talaban or suicide bombers. We felt very strongly that when you censor art because somebody has an issue with it, whether it be terrorists or a Sunday school preacher, we devolve back to an era where burning books and destroying rock and roll records were the norm. We recently received an email which was appropriately resting in our junk mail folder. Here is an excerpt from it:
I hereby request that you immediately remove or block access to the infringing material and ensure the user refrains from using or sharing with pirromount the Rights Owners’ materials in the future. Additionally I request that the removed link be replaced with the following language: “This video has been removed because of infringement.” I urge you to take immediate action to stop this infringing activity and inform me of the results of your actions. Please respond indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter. For email correspondence, please reference the above Notice ID in the subject line. Nothing in this letter shall serve as a waiver of any rights or remedies of the Rights Owners with respect to the alleged infringement, all of which are expressly reserved. In addition, this notice is without prejudice to the positions that you have an affirmative obligation to prevent or limit infringement of the Rights Owners’ exclusive rights without regard to receiving a specific takedown notice. In complying with this notice, pirromount should not destroy or spoliate any evidence which may be relevant in a lawsuit relating to the infringement alleged herein, including the infringing videos and all associated electronic documents and data relating to their presence on pirromount.com, which shall be preserved while disabling public access, irrespective of any document retention or corporate policy to the contrary. Should you need to contact me, I may be reached at the following address: Warren Solow Viacom 1515 Broadway New York, NY 10036 v: (408) 217-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org end of email.
Naturally, we admit that they are completely within their rights to demand the video be taken down, as it is indeed derived from their property. And although we are never ones to buckle under the threat of religious zealots (as you know if you’re familiar with our Submissive Jesus Prayer Answering Talking Head toy or our 2009 comedy The God Complex) , which is why we restored the video in the first place, we must buckle under the threat of a company whose lawyers have much bigger dicks than our lawyers. And we understand that legally they have the right to do so (unlike terrorists, of course, who just use the threat of violence to get their way). Maybe one day the cowards who restricted this video in the first place and continually restrict this video will ultimately come to their senses and release the uncensored episode. Maybe some brave soul at Viacom will research history and learn that the very foundation of this country was founded on people fighting for their freedom of expression. Maybe they will learn that there was once a time when actual people died defending that freedom.
I was a huge fan of the South Park show. It was edgy and strong willed, and I had nothing but admiration for the show and its creators, Matt and Trey. As a satirist and comedy filmmaker, my appreciation for the edginess of the show had no bounds. I bought every DVD of every season and cherished the cleverness of each episode as if I had created them myself. I think that’s why I got personally offended when the episode got censored. Maybe I was vicariously fighting Matt and Trey’s battle by restoring the episode. In fact, before I restored the episode, I had created a”Mohammad Speaks” video, in defense of South Park. This led to another, then another, then another, and so on. That was my catharsis on dealing with this travesty. However, when the DVD came out and I saw it too was censored, that’s when I got furious and made my now also banned video.
Anyway, I have lost all respect for the show. I no longer buy season DVDs. I no longer watch it or even care that much about it. I have since moved my allegiance over to “Family Guy,” a show I once resented because I considered it a show that was jumping on the bandwagon of South Park’s edginess and success. And because to my knowledge there are no episodes of Family Guy that have been banned for life. If Family Guy ever creates an episode that gets pulled because of any lame threat, you can be assured that I will try to restore it…at least until I get a cease and desist letter from Fox. Once again, my deepest regrets to our most recent loss against terrorism. That’s all I have to say. The rest of this page has the basic story of how this whole thing started, if you weren’t originally aware.
(GOOD NEWS UPDATE – SCROLL DOWN TO THE RED)* ———————————————————
Here is the back story of this episode, for those of you not aware of its history.
For those of you not familiar with this story: back in 2010, South Park aired a two part episode for their 200th show. The episode featured the Muslim prophet Mohammad in a comical way. Episode 200 aired in its usual fashion. It was uncensored (and can be found in tact on the DVD). In the week between episode 200 and 201, there was a death threat on the show’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which prompted the network to censor the upcoming episode 201. When the show aired, any mention of the name Mohammad was mercilessly bleeped out, as well as an ending speech that lasted about 30 seconds. It was a distraction to the episode and an embarrassment to the concept of free speech. You can read more about it here.
The irony is that it was an episode dealing with censorship (the black censorship bars hiding Mohammad were deliberate and part of the joke, but that joke got lost in translation when Cowardly Central put all the audio bleeps at any mention of the name Mohammad). The message became convoluted and lost because of their censorship on top of the ‘joke’ censorship depicted in the episode. The viewer didn’t know what was real censoring and what was part of the show. It ruined a potentially brilliant statement about free speech in America.
When the ‘uncensored’ season 14 DVD came out, that episode was censored, just like it was when it aired. The episode has NEVER been available anywhere uncensored – not on television, not online, not on the DVD. This infuriated me (probably more than the creators of the show), as well as many devoted fans of the show, not to mention strong advocates of free speech, which prompted me to take the censored version of the episode, and utilizing the ‘Mohammad’s from previous episodes, carefully restore it to the way it should have originally aired. The only thing I couldn’t completely restore was the closing speech. For that I added in subtitles of what was originally said based on a transcript of the show. Once I made the restored video, every time we posted in on Youtube, it would immediately get pulled. Then we uploaded it to a site called Megavideo, until the site got closed down by the feds.
As you know, we abhor censorship in any form, especially irrational censorship based on fear or cowardice. And since this episode was brutally butchered by the powers that be at Cowardly Central, I found myself compelled to ‘fix’ this miscarriage of free expression. That’s why I went to the trouble and effort to restore the episode as closely as we could get it to Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s original vision. I had a strong feeling that Matt and Trey would support me on this one. They were seriously muzzled by their bosses (they couldn’t even say ‘Mohammad’ on the DVD commentary for that episode, which you can listen to here. They would only refer to him as the ‘prophet of the Muslim faith’) for fear of getting censored. We make no copyright claims to this, and we get no financial compensation for this. We do this for the South Park fans (of which we are a part of) who were sorely disappointed at the censorship and unavailability of this episode. And by restoring it to what it should have been in the first place, maybe send a message to the wimps at Cowardly Central, that free expression should be bigger than fear.
* UPDATE 2-5-14
GOOD NEWS SOUTH PARK FANS. SOMEONE JUST INFORMED ME THAT A LEAKED VERSION OF THE VIDEO IS NOW AVAILABLE HERE:
THIS VIDEO IS COMPLETE, IT IS NOT THE ONE I MADE, IT IS BETTER. IT HAS ALL THE ‘MOHAMMADS” and IT ALSO HAS THE COMPLETE ENDING MONOLOGUES (instead of the one we made with the subtitles).
If you don’t want to watch the entire episode, but will just settle for watching the end speech, you can stream it here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=452803128180744
PRAISE BE TO ALLAH. FREEDOM REIGNS. LET THE WIMPS CENSOR. THE INTERNET TRUMPS ALL FEAR AND INTIMIDATION. THIS IS INDEED A GREAT DAY FOR FREEDOM.