The politically incorrect “South Park” cartoon continued their crusade against American acceptance of Chinese censorship on Wednesday night, taking digs at Lebron James after the NBA star warned of the consequences of free speech criticizing China.
The latest “South Park” episode, “Let Them Eat Goo” drew parodying parallels between Chinese human rights concerns causing controversy for the NBA and an elementary school lunch protest for healthy food options inconveniencing the character Eric Cartman’s love of junk food, according to Fox News.
While the students of the fictional South Park elementary staged a protest of unhealthy school lunches, Cartman defended the school’s lunch choices.
In one segment of the Wednesday cartoon episode, a vegan student countered Cartman’s objections to the protest by insisting he had “a right to free speech.”
“Yes, we do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you are not thinking about others and only thinking about yourself,” Cartman replied.
The cartoon character’s response was utterly similar to James’ own remarks on Monday when asked to comment on a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey which showed support for Hong Kong protesters resisting Chinese authoritarian encroachment and sparked debate about the NBA’s business ties to China – a country whose actions have raised numerous human rights concerns in recent years.
LeBron James on if Daryl Morey should be reprimanded for his tweet pic.twitter.com/6hCE8vCyNn
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 15, 2019
James appeared to echo Chinese government talking points in his Monday comments, suggesting Morey was “misinformed” and not educated enough to speak knowledgeably about protests in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong protests have endured for over four months as protesters raised opposition to both a controversial law enforcement bill that would extradite Hong Kong residents to face trial in mainland China, as well as more recent opposition to the brutal policing tactics used to suppress dissent of the extradition measure.
While James and other members of the league have been outspoken critics on U.S. social justice and cultural issues, he and others were notably evasive of calls to criticize China which has, along with expanding influence over Hong Kong, been accused of abuses to its Uyghur Muslim minority population and conducting forced organ harvesting practices against other victimized minority groups.
James also appeared to suggest Morey’s pro-Hong Kong sentiments could have waited until after several NBA business engagements with China, including a Chinese broadcast of an exhibition game between his team, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.
The cartoon parody also featured Cartman’s take on another of James’ Wednesday remarks, that Morey’s Hong Kong comments risked harming people financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Last week, the NBA apologized for offending Chinese audiences after Morey tweeted “Fight for Freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”
NEW: the NBA has released a statement on Daryl Morey: pic.twitter.com/FOI79W31b1
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) October 7, 2019
The “South Park” cartoon, which had already run afoul of Chinese censors for similarly criticizing Hollywood’s efforts to appease Chia, issued a parody of the NBA apology last week.
— South Park (@SouthPark) October 7, 2019
“Like the NBA, we welcome Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” the jesting apology read. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy.”