Russia Seeks to Ban ‘Extremist’ Cartoon ‘South Park’

Demonstrating that censorship is very much alive and well in Russia, South Park has been labelled as “extremist” and a motion has been filed to ban the series from Russian television.

Prosecutors in Russia want to ban the award-winning satirical U.S. cartoon South Park, calling the series “extremist” after receiving viewer complaints, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

South Park, a cartoon aimed at adults and featuring a group of nine-year olds in a Colorado ski town, has courted controversy from its 1997 debut, parodying celebrities, politicians, religion, gay marriage and Saddam Hussein.

Basmanny regional prosecutors office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said investigators filed a motion after deciding an episode broadcast on Moscow television station 2×2 in January “bore signs of extremist activity.”

The Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith had asked prosecutors to ban South Park after it said 20 experts had studied the show for its effect on young viewers.

The group’s leader, Konstantin Bendas, said “South Park is just one of many cartoons that need to be banned from open broadcast…as it insults the feelings of religious believers and incites religious and national hatred.”

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