The creators of "South Park" offered a tongue-in-cheek apology to China after its latest episode mocked the Communist government's control over Hollywood, causing a ban on the long-running animated series in the country.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on Monday that China scrubbed "South Park" from its Internet, including any social media mentions on Weibo -- as well as episodes and clips from the streaming service Youku.
In a statement to THR, "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued an "apology" to China and included a not-so-subtle jab at the NBA over its own controversy with China.
"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," Parker and Stone wrote. "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?"
The "Band in China" episode, which aired on Comedy Central last Wednesday, followed the character of Randy trying to sell marijuana to China, only to wind up being sent to a work camp. While at the camp, the character met Winnie the Pooh, also a political prisoner because he drew physical comparisons to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Meanwhile, another group of characters -- Stan, Jimmy, Kenny, and Butters -- formed a metal band, which caught the attention of a Hollywood manager who wanted to produce a film about them, but constantly modified the script in order for the movie to be distributed in China.
The NBA faced heavy backlash on Sunday after distancing itself from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey's tweet expressing support to anti-government protestors in Hong Kong: "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong."
Morey later tweeted in part, "I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention."