'South Park' Episode Banned in China Screened on Hong Kong Street

The controversial South Park episode, "Band in China," was screened on a busy Hong Kong street in the Sham Shui Po District on Tuesday night.

The 299th episode of the long-running Comedy Central series gained notoriety when life imitated art and South Park was banned in China last week.

The sharp critique of the way Hollywood shapes its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors led to real life Chinese government censors deleting virtually every South Park clip, episode and online discussion of the show from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.


Utterly savage truth bombs 💣 from #Southpark.pic.twitter.com/Hhg6qXC6w9

— Kyle Olbert 🇺🇸 (@realKyleOlbert) October 4, 2019

Photos shared to social media showed a projector screen set up on a busy urban street at night in Kowloon with a large group of people gathered around it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it is unclear who was responsible for the screening.

"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," tweeted journalist and author @KongTsungGan.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom is the Academy Award-nominated 2015 documentary, produced in part by Netflix, about the peaceful student demonstration in 2013 that became a violent revolution and full-fledged civil rights movement.

1987: When the Day Comes is a political thriller currently on Amazon Prime based on real life events surrounding the nationwide democracy movement in South Korea that generated mass protests from June 10 to June 29, 1987.

The South Park screening in Hong Kong inspired favorable discussion online by the protest movement with many praising the show's creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone as "prophets."

"Project it on the police station," tweeted @RDawn1984.

"This town needs South Park. Hong Kong needs South Park. Hong Kong supports creative freedom! #chinazi #FreedomOfExpression," said another supporter.

"I am laughing with tears in my eyes," one anonymous user wrote on a protester forum in response to the episode.

Others also noted that the screening was helpful because it provided a chance for elders of the community to get a sense of how some powerful Western voices overseas are supporting Hong Kong's cause.

band in china
Amidst the "South Park" controversy, pro-democracy protests continue in Hong Kong. This screenshot is from the "Band in China" episode, which, as its title implies, caused "South Park" to be banned in China. Comedy Central

While the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been criticized for its response to China penalizing the league over comments about Hong Kong protesters, Parker and Stone have been celebrated for both the episode and the faux apology they issued on Monday.

"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," reads the statement.

"We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?"