After 10 years on Comedy Central's foulmouthed, anti-establishment animated series "South Park," Isaac Hayes wants off because he finds the show's attacks on religion inappropriate. Word is that Hayes was upset with an episode that aired in November, "Trapped in the Closet," that attacked Scientology, of which he's a follower. He asked the show to be released from his role as the sexually charged Chef.
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins," Hayes said in a statement.
"As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices," he added. Hayes' reaction stumped some, because the show that spawned "South Park" included Santa and Jesus in a death match, and throughout the run the producers have skewered various religions and celebrities.
"This has nothing to do with intolerance and bigotry and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist and that we recently featured Scientology in an episode of 'South Park,' " Matt Stone, co-creator of 'South Park,' said in a statement. "In 10 years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show. To bring the civil-rights struggle into this is just a non sequitur. Of course, we will release Isaac from his contract and we wish him well."
I love it. They make fun of black people all the time, not to mention every other type of religion, but ripping on Scientology crossed the line? Issac Hayes dropped a few notches in my book and not because he's a Scientologist, but because he's making a statement that dictates it's okay to make fun of everyone else's religious beliefs except for his. Very classy move, Ike.