Protests against the Chinese government's policies have continued for months in Hong Kong. Now, the East Asian city has gained an unlikely new symbol of resistance: the Comedy Central animated series South Park.
The long-running series has recently come under fire in China for its episode "Band in China," which addressed human rights violations in the country and how American companies ignore social issues for an opportunity to expand their business into the Chinese market. Following the premiere of the Season 23 episode, the Chinese government removed South Park from online forums and social media. In response, a public screening of the episode has been projected in Hong Kong's streets through anonymous organizers as part of a series of street screenings of protest cinema.
Tonight in Sham Shui Po, @SouthPark episode ‘Band in China’ shown on street to large & appreciative audience. Street cinema’s been yet another important facet of #HK protests, w ‘Winter on Fire’ on Ukraine’s revolution & ‘1987: When the Day Comes’ on Korea’s esp popular. pic.twitter.com/dKzWYXP1xd— Kong Tsung-gan / 江松澗 (@KongTsungGan) October 8, 2019
Online forums in support of the Hong Kong protests have praised South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their stance in decrying some of the Chinese government's practices, with anonymous commenters on Hong Kong protest forums mentioning they enjoyed the episode itself.
Following the removal of South Park in its entirety from the Chinese internet, Parker and Stone issued a mock apology that continued to call out the Chinese government, as well as other businesses that appeared to value "money more than freedom and democracy."
Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.