Most people know by now that Isaac Hayes has quit working on South Park (he was the voice of Chef) because they did an episode making fun of Scientology. Comedy Central decided to pull the episode, and their reason for doing so is so ridiculous that no one in their right mind would buy it:
A Comedy Central spokesman said Friday that the network pulled the controversial episode to make room for two shows featuring Hayes.
“In light of the events of earlier this week, we wanted to give Chef an appropriate tribute by airing two episodes he is most known for,” the spokesman said.
Nonsense. Someone has pressured the network to get them to remove the show, that is obvious. The rumors are that Tom Cruise, the world’s most prominent scientologist, threatened the network that he wouldn’t do any publicity for Mission Impossible 3 this summer, and since Comedy Central and Paramount, the movie’s distributor, are both owned by Viacom, they caved in. Cruise’s spokesperson denies that, but does so rather artfully:
But Cruise’s representative, Arnold Robinson, told The Associated Press Friday that the mega-star made no such demands.
“Not true,” Robinson said. “I can tell you that he never said that.”
He never said that. Not “he didn’t try to get the episode cancelled”, just that he didn’t say that specifically, which means if one word of what he did say was different, it’s not technically a lie. This is a fairly serious matter, I think, given the history of Scientology using threats to intimidate individuals and media outlets from printing or showing any criticism at all of their little scam (and yes, that is precisely what it is).