That Fruity Little Club

So, remember how Isac Hayes quit South Park recently, claiming religious intolerance on the behalf of the show's creators?

From Hayes' Wikipedia page (cheers Kat!)

"Hayes is also an outspoken scientologist, frequently identified by scientology as a success story and great example of the positive effects that Scientology can bring. He has called scientology the "gateway to eternity" and "the path to happiness and total spiritual freedom."

In February 2006, Hayes appeared in a scientology music video called "United". Fox News entertainment reporter Roger Friedman reported receiving a copy in the mail sent personally from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, along with a framed set of scientology maxims such as "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause".

In the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", a satire and exposé of scientology, Hayes did not appear in his role as Chef. In an interview for The A.V. Club on January 4, 2006, Hayes was asked about the episode. Hayes said that he told the creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, "Guys, you have it all wrong. We're not like that. I know that's your thing, but get your information correct, because somebody might believe that shit, you know?" He then told them to take a couple of Scientology courses to understand what they do.

On March 13, 2006, Hayes announced he was asking to be released from his contract with Comedy Central, citing recent episodes which satirized religious beliefs as being intolerant. "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," he was quoted in a press statement. Hayes, however, did not directly mention Scientology. A response from Stone said that Hayes' complaints stemmed from the show's criticism of Scientology and that he "has no problem -- and he's cashed plenty of checks –– with our show making fun of Christians." Stone adds, "[We] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin." Stone and Parker agreed to release Hayes per his request."

Oddly, as recently as January, Hayes was going on the radio saying he didn't have a problem with the episode. "I understand what [Matt and Trey] are doing," quoth he. A few weeks later, he had a stroke, then made his big announcement.

Well, in an amazingly quick turnaround, Comedy Central aired the first episode of the new, post-Hayes South Park last night, in which Chef is brainwashed by a "fruity little club". I shall say no more. If you type "South Park 1001" into your Limewire or whatever, you can watch it, and be awed, as I just was. It really is quite beautiful.

"Don't be mad at Chef for leaving us," begs Kyle towards the end. "Be mad at that fruity little club that brainwashed him."

Amen.