South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still no-holds-barred when it comes to Scientology. Earlier in the week, Comedy Central said it would put back into rotation "Trapped in the Closet," a Scientology-focused episode that had angered members of the church. The episode, which earned an Emmy nomination, prompted fire from Scientologists by showing church member Tom Cruise refusing to come out of a closet.
Parker and Stone, on a TCA panel to promote the series’ tenth season, which debuts Oct. 4, said they did believe Comedy initially yanked the episode because Cruise said he’d refuse to promote Paramount’s Mission: Impossible III (Viacom owns Comedy Central and Paramount) if it ran. They started the panel by joking "first of all, there can’t be any questions about Tom Cruise or Scientology or South Park," and went on to say while they’d actually avoided touching Scientology for a long time, when they did float the idea of an episode by Comedy’s lawyers, they approved it.
Have they heard from the Scientologists since? Joked Parker, "They’re actually extremely happy with us. Everything we’ve heard, they’re actually, like, really supportive. Really like, ‘you go guys.’" Stone answered a little more seriously: "Scientology has this reputation for intimidating people and throwing dead animals over your fence and bricks at your cars…I think it’s all bullshit. Scientology enjoys that reputation because it keeps people from doing anything about them." Setting the record straight, he said they haven’t heard from the Scientologists at all regarding the episode.
By Anne Becker