Isaac Hayes, who voices Chef on “South Park,” has quit the show.
Legendary soul icon has asked to be released from his contract with the cartoon, finding fault with what he believes to be the show’s disrespectful take on religion.
Hayes has been a regular cast member on “South Park” since its launch in 1997; it kicks off its 10h season later this year.
“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” Hayes said in a statement. “I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”
“South Park” co-creator Matt Stone, however, said Hayes had no problem with the show’s stance on religious matters until it sent up Scientology in a recent episode.
“This has nothing to do with intolerance and bigotry and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist,” Stone 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.”