Support Our Work File an FCC Complaint Movie Reviews Join Us Family Guide to Primetime Television Home
Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching


1%-5% of your purchase will help support the PTC.

Cable Consumer Choice Campaign

Want the Disney Channel but not MTV? Don't be forced to support offensive content. Choose your own channels.

The Worst Cable Content of the Week


Get Windows Media PlayerDon't have active x controls? Download the clip (right click and choose "save target as"

South Park on Comedy Central

Episode Summary




For twelve seasons, Comedy Central’s South Park has been a showpiece for sharp satire, as well as explicit language, sex and violence; but for a show that has made its name by consistently crossing the line, it says something when even its fans feel the program has gone too far.  By exploiting the sensitive topic of rape for a trivial movie satire, South Park (Wednesday, 10:00 p.m. ET) has been singled out as the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.


Though South Park is often credited with providing insightful, often biting social and political commentary over the course of the past twelve seasons, it is often a puerile, mean-spirited “equal opportunity offender” (as creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone proudly claim).  When push comes to shove, however, the show’s default impulse is to sensationalize rather than satirize…at anyone’s expense.  The mid-season premiere that aired on October 8th exemplifies this impulse. 


The episode’s subplot revolves around a supposed rape witnessed by Kyle and others.  Soon, it becomes clear that Kyle was referring to the latest installment of the Indiana Jones movie franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are accused of literally raping the beloved hero.  Of course, the show doesn’t stop there.  Instead, it depicts three graphic scenes of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas literally sexually assaulting Harrison Ford dressed as Indiana Jones.  Two of the scenes recreate almost shot-for-shot the disturbing and infamous rape scenes from the films The Accused and Deliverance


Controversy immediately followed the broadcast, with many on Internet forums and message boards crying foul over the use of rape for comic purposes.  Naturally, defenders of the show told naysayers to lighten up.  Some pointed out the absurdity of arguing over a cartoon, especially one that intentionally tries to get a rise out of people.  After all, what’s more ridiculous than George Lucas raping a Stormtrooper? 


Cartoon or not, the moment the episode crossed the line was when viewers remembered that the movie being parodying was based on a real incident, a real woman, a real crime.  And suddenly, it became very difficult to find any of it funny.


For graphic sexual violence, South Park has been named Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.


TAKE ACTION NOW! Click here to voice your support for cable consumer choice.




JOIN US ON:          .

Parents Television Council, www.parentstv.org, PTC, Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval, and Family Guide to Prime Time Television are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.