It never comes as a shock when South Park says or does something offensive. The adult cartoon is well known for its hilarious, controversial, and often offensive humor, and this is what makes it so popular around the world.
It is probably impossible to count the number of times that the cartoon has offended someone or has made an extremely offensive joke. However, their most recent one is probably their most controversial.
They have poked fun at and have completely roasted the transgender community by featuring a trans athlete in an episode. Obviously, the show has received a huge backlash with many dubbing the creators as transphobic.
Keep scrolling to see the clip, and to hear what people have had to say on the matter...
South Park has come under fire for a ‘transphobic’ gag in their latest episode with viewers accusing the cartoon of mocking trans athletes.
The divisive animation is now well into its 23rd series and has got their by taking no prisoners, which has ultimately been both South Park’s triumph and, for some, its downfall.
The latest instalment falls into the latter. One of the storylines featured a character named Strong Woman, who ahead of a her round in a Strongwoman contest, reveals she’s ‘honoured’ to be going up against the first trans women to enter the competition.
The athlete is basically a South Parked doppleganger to the late wrestler Randy Savage called Heather Swanson, who explains that she transitioned into a woman two weeks ago.
‘I can’t tell you how free I feel. Now that I can compete as female, I’m ready to smash the other girls,’ she ferociously declares in an interview.
‘I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some f***ing ass.’
And Heather’s a natural in every single round, living up to her promise of smashing the other girls in shot put throwing, weight lifting and tyre flipping.
However, the twist comes when it turns out Heather was actually Strong Woman’s ex-boyfriend who entered the contest for revenge.
The instalment has now been slammed on social media, with Canadian cycling champions and trans activist Rachel McKinnon blasting the jokes as ‘lazy’ and highlighting Futurama made the same joke almost 20 years ago.
‘I’m not particularly mad about the South Park episode,’ Rachel began on Twitter. ‘Yes it’s transphobic. Yes it’s lazy. Yes, it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they’re lazy and increasingly irrelevant. F***, Futurama made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don’t have new jokes.”
She went on: ‘South Park has been deeply transphobic the *entire time*. This isn’t their first explicitly transphobic story line. It won’t be their last. Stone and Parker are transphobes. Write them off. Ignore their lazy show.’
But fans of South Park have leapt to the gag’s defence, stressing creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were exposing toxic masculinity and transphobia in sport.
Several female athletes have tried to call out trans athletes, complaining they have an advantage. In a recent survey, 11 out of 15 female British Olympians anonymously agreed: ‘It can never be fair for transgender athletes who have been through male puberty to compete in female sport.’
Either way, Stone and Parker’s intention appears to be blurred and the internet is divided:
South Park is one of America's most famous adult cartoons.
Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone back in 1997, the show follows the misadventures of 4 potty-mouthed grade-schoolers in the dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.
The show is one of the most popular cartoons on TV next to The Simpsons...
But the unique thing about South Park is its lack of fear when addressing and poking fun at controversial and current events.
Parker and Stone aren't afraid to address unorthodox issues...
South Park is known to push the boundaries of what is, and what isn’t acceptable to be shown on TV.
This includes the issues of gun laws here in America, racism, and pedophilia.
Oh, and they're not afraid to poke fun at recent transgender issues.
The Stone and Parker duo have come under fire (again) for a recent episode that openly mocks transgender athletes.
The episode came after transgender athlete, Rachel Mckinnon was allowed to cycle competitively with other women...
The world was divided after McKinnon, who has fully transitioned to a woman, won gold in the women’s world championship cycling, with many arguing that, because she was born biologically male, she shouldn’t be allowed to compete with women.
And, of course, Stone and Parker managed to squeeze in their own, not-so-subtle dig.
The episode is titled Board Girls...
And it revolves around the character Strong Woman (who is also the vice principal at the elementary school and partner of PC Principal, with whom she has the PC babies) entering a Strongwoman Competition, which she previously won.
Strong Woman is in good shape and is ready to compete in the all-female competition.
In the episode, she is asked by a sportscaster about how she feels about the trans woman competing alongside her, to which she responds,
“I feel honored to be a part of history, I have a lot of incredible trans friends who are athletes, so we are all inspired that this woman is competing.”
So far, so good...
The sportscaster goes on to ask Strong Woman if she has met the trans athlete, Heather Swanson, and she replies with a no.
“She’s not exactly your average trans athlete,” the sportscaster then says.
The term "average trans athlete" is rather problematic...
“Well, what is an average trans athlete? Honestly, I find that quite bigoted, David,” Strong Woman replies in annoyance.
The sportscaster goes on to bring Heather Swanson into the interview...
And when she walks into the camera shot, the joke is clear.
Heather's character is clearly inspired by the late Randy Savage...
Heather goes on to say,
“I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some f****** a**,” and “I’m gonna roll up the other women here, and I’m gonna smoke ’em. I am the strongest woman this state has ever seen,” after being asked if it was true that she began identifying as a woman only 2 weeks ago.
Heather goes on to fiercely compete against the other female athletes.
The episode shows the other women competing against Heather, and it’s safe to say that they get completely crushed by her in the different games, such as wrestling and shotput.
But the episode has an unexpected ending...
In the end, Heather, who claimed to be unstoppable, is defeated by some of the elementary school girls who formed a board game club after the boys at the school complained and had them removed from their game club.
The sexism begins to get worse...
Heather says the competition against the girls was not fair because she was born a man, which means she does not read the board game directions beforehand like she says women do, so she was at a disadvantage. Cartman then invites Heather to join the boy’s club.
Because South Park is so popular...
There are many out there who found the episode funny and felt it was delivering an accurate message about the current debates about trans athletes.
British TV host Piers Morgan even had his say on the episode...
“Bitingly sharp… and brutally honest. Women’s sport is going to be destroyed unless authorities deal with this issue asap,” he wrote.
Some pointed out that South Park isn't transphobic...
And that it is simply being South Park. Making fun out of everyone and everything is simply what they do.
But, of course, many people were still offended.
A lot of people felt that the episode was tasteless, transphobic, misogynistic, and just overall, offensive.
Rachel McKinnon, the transgender world track cycling champion who the episode is clearly aimed at, called the episode "lazy"...
McKinnon, who has made headlines recently in regards to her “unfair” abilities as a trans athlete, said on Twitter, “I’m not particularly mad about the South Park episode.”
“Yes, it’s transphobic. Yes, it’s lazy. Yes, it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they’re lazy and increasingly irrelevant. F***, Futurama made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don’t have new jokes.”
McKinnon also went to say that Parker and Stone are transphobes...
It’s an extremely difficult situation.
The episode doesn’t necessarily mean that Parker and Stone are transphobic, and many have argued that the episode is proving a very valid issue that the sporting world is currently dealing with.
But it is clearly offensive to the transgender community, and it is never acceptable to make fun of somebody for the way they identify.
And many people have agreed with McKinnon.
And have labeled the show as “disgusting” and “obnoxious”.
People have called out the show for promoting casual transphobia...
Which can be incredibly harmful to all those in the trans community.
Others have pointed out that this isn't the show's first dose of transphobia...
And that they have poked fun at the trans community in the past by likening trans people to animals.
Some have even called for the show to be canceled...
As they believe that a show that broadcasts and pokes fun at harmful and toxic topics shouldn’t be allowed to be aired altogether.
You can watch the clip here...
And decide for yourselves whether we’re dealing with transphobia or just another harmless episode of South Park.
For more on the issue of transphobia, keep scrolling…