Friday, March 17, 2006

Comedy Central pulls Scientology episode from reruns

Comedy Central has pulled the "Trapped in the Closet" episode, which criticizes and exposes Scientology, from reruns. Rumor has it that Tom Cruise threatened not to do publicity for the movie "Mission Impossible 3," which will be released this summer, unless it was pulled. As Paramount, the distributor of the Cruise film, and Comedy Central are both owned by Viacom, this has some plausibility.

A Cruise representative denied the rumor, phrased in a way that may have been crafted to be literally true but misleading (a method frequently used by George W. Bush, as documented in the book All the President's Spin).

(Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)

UPDATE (March 18, 2006): Trey Parker and Matt Stone have declared war on Scientology:
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the animated satire, are digging in against the celebrity-endorsed religion after a controversial episode mocking outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise was yanked abruptly from the schedule Wednesday - with Internet rumors it was covert warfare by Cruise that led to its departure.

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the "South Park" creators said in a statement Friday in Daily Variety. "Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies... You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!"

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