The dust-up gained steam last week when Isaac Hayes, a practicing Scientologist who has long been the voice of the character Chef, quit after objecting to a “South Park” episode called “Trapped in the Closet,” which lampooned both the religion and Tom Cruise.
The skirmish continued this week, when Comedy Central abruptly pulled a repeat of that episode that was scheduled to air Wednesday evening. Showing instead was another memorable seg which featured Hayes’s character, called “Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls.”
Blog reports pegged the mysterious episode switch to objections raised by Cruise, who, the reports stated, threatened to not promote “Mission: Impossible 3,” the summer tentpole for Viacom-owned Paramount.
A spokesman for Cruise denied that Cruise had ever made such a threat. “He never said any such thing about ‘Mission: Impossible 3,” the spokesman said.
While the “South Park” creators didn’t directly comment on Comedy Central’s decision to pull the episode, they issued an unusual statement to Daily Variety indicating the battle is not over.
“So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!”