South Park Poignantly Tackles the 'Bully' Debacle in its Latest Episode

April 12, 2012
Source: South Park

South Park

"Why you trying to trash talk our theatrical release?!" One of my favorite TV shows that has consistently been one of my favorites is South Park, but I don't get the opportunity to mention it much on here. I caught last night's episode and, as expected, it was a hilarious yet clever episode tackling two current issues: Harvey Weinstein's Bully doc and fight with the MPAA, and the Kony 2012 video Jason Russell incident in San Diego. There was a key moment midway through about movies (involving a studio exec bullying people) and it ends on a very poignant note regarding distribution. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share this.

This is specifically the scene I'm referring to, but you can see their entire "Bully" episode online free here.

This is why I love this show. Not only was that a cleverly written scene that fits well in the context of the episode, but it outright slaps Hollywood (and all entertainment distributors) right in the face with that "if it needs to be seen by everybody" argument. Especially that huge pause after he says it the first time, and the fact that it gets repeated even more clearly. And that South Park is one of the few studios that immediately posts all of their episodes online to view for free. But isn't Kyle right? If they really want everyone to see Bully, even the PG-13 version, why not release it online for free? And show it everywhere they can, for free? Ah yes, capitalism. Again, this is why I love South Park, and how they address and confront current events.

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  • great episode!
  • Tomris
    I am one of the biggest fans of South Park, and I did like yesterday night's episode. However, you're comparing apples to oranges. A TV show putting their episodes online for free is not the same as a film being online for FREE. Film-making needs to be a sustainable business, and BULLY (even though purchased by WeinsteinCo) is a documentary that's made by independent means. Therefore, people need to pay for it. It's not a charity project. Maybe the whole BULLY ratings debate did stretch farther than it should, but it did something very worthy: it made MPAA's idiotic methods a topic of mainstream public conversation.
    • Joe
      I think the point is that they are using the guise of pretending to give a shit about raising bullying awareness when really they just want to make as much money as possible.
      • Mark Trenkle
        And honestly. South park kinda touched on it sarcastically when I think kyle said "... you want to 'fix' bullying?" I mean, really. A movie is gonna come out and fucked up kids are gonna stop being assholes? Yeah.
        • Tomris
          I did get the sarcasm, yes... However, Did Harvey or Lee Hirsch ever actually claim they are going to change the world and fix bullying with this film? If they did, I must have missed that. :) All a good documentary of this sort can do is to stir up a debate, to raise a point and give a perspective by shedding some light on the truth. And I had thought this was Hirsch's intention.
      • Tomris
        I am not claiming that the ratings debate didn't at some point transform into a publicity stunt. As soon as Harvey saw the opportunity, it did. However, I strongly believe it started as a legitimate fight against MPAA (they are not the first to oppose to an MPAA decision). And to respond to your comment: Of course the filmmakers are trying to raise awareness for bullying. Otherwise, why would they even bother making a documentary about bullying at the first place? But on the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with a filmmaker having an ambition (a deserved, fair one) of getting a fair and square theatrical release; and hoping for longevity of his/her film, and even be eligible for mainstream awards when the season begins. You might like or despise the awards season, however it does sometimes generate awareness of worthy films that might otherwise fall off the radar of mainstream audiences. And a 'free online release' would make them ineligible for this kind of longevity, wouldn't it? I just don't see anything wrong with a filmmaker who's just made an important film to desire a fair theatrical run; that's all I'm saying.
    • Mark Trenkle
      Well they are not saying they shouldn't make money. They just said "well if your movie NEEDS to be seen by everyone, why not show it to everyone?" If you want more people to see it to make more money, pg13 is good. But the director and weinstein were trumpeting it as this important movie that should be seen. If it is that important, give it for free. The Kony guy didn't charge money for his. Seemed to work out well in terms of viewers. I'm sure if they released it online they'd make some money. Just put it out and charge 2 dollars for it.
      • Tomris
        I thought the argument we were discussing was "putting it online for free". I don't have anything against "putting it online and charging money for it". $2, or $5. Producing content isn't free; consuming it shouldn't be free either.
        • Kieran Hanna
          Why not? They can make a website for it, get loads of traffic and make money off advertising. 
      • Sade
        You wouldn't even have to charge for it. Clicks and advertisements on the page are what generate income for a lot of websites.
    • Skrinkaman
      Left Wing Liberal!
    • Zgibac
       Well if you are going to say "you have to see this movie" and if they want everyone to see it, it should have been free. Everyone that worked on the documentary should have donated their time and not expect compensation for that.
    "You gonna cwyyy?"
  • South Park? Anti-Bullying? Whatever next....
    • You miss the point. They were basically showing that everyone is a bully, even the anti-bullying people. They were exposing the hypocrisy of it all.
      • Rharnick
         Didn't expose there own hypocrisy. If their message that everyone else is being a bully is so important why not put South Park on the air for free. Also a grandmother attempting to put a urinal cleanser in her grandsons mouth in just not funny. That sort abuse actually happens everyday in America. This season has sucked, to bad because last season was excellent. Maybe its time for Trey and Matt to pack it in, they have been mailing it in all season.
        • Trammell
          They do the release every episode online for free.
  • Voice of Reason
    If I didnt think it would kill the man to take on more projects, I'd demand more movies from Trey Parker but am psyched South Park carries on as strongly as it does.
  • excellent episode, South Park does it again.
  • It was beyond brilliant how they tied it all to Kony 2012 and Jason Russell in the last five minutes.
  • Me
    This is the youtube video the episode was based on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waAqJ6727Hk
    • Mark Trenkle
      hahahaha. Oh man. When trey was doing "bullying?! a-huh! do you realize.." I knew it had to be from somewhere. Love how they just make fun of anyone and everyone, including some kid just trying to be a good guy haha. bullying?!?! a-huh!
  • Gerald
    "One of my favorite TV shows that has consistently been one of my favorites" ....... -__-
    •  Thought I was the only one that noticed that
  • peloquin
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waAqJ6727Hk The parody from South Park is so much better after watching the video it's based on.
  • K1ng
    I'm guna go off jackin' it... In San diegooo
  • Capitalism kept the movie from being free on the internet? Stan/Whatshisface wanted fame and publicity, and free downloads don't do that. Movies do. You can blame free markets if you really, really, REALLY want to, but I think the simpler driving force is Stan's/Whatshisface's inflated ego. I actually think the bathroom-bullying scenes where the best in the episode as well, particularly the Stan/Kyle one.




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