Chef Quits South Park? How Will Those Kids Eat? Won't Somebody Think of the Children?!
This Sounds Like a Job for...
'Yeahhhh, can it!'
Chef Quits Over Scientology Jabs
Beloved cartoon character "Chef" is leaving the television comedy South Park because it mocks religions.
But the show's creators say that's a bunch of nonsense, and that Chef is only leaving the show because South Park recently tore apart Scientology, the space-alien money cult that has ensnared several popular entertainers.
In real life, Chef is 63-year-old soul singer Issac Hayes, who was popular in the 1970s for his Oscar-winning blacksploitation theme song, Shaft.
He's also a dedicated Scientologist.
"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," Hayes said today, according to the Associated Press. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."
But Hayes didn't seem to have a problem until the religion being destroyed by South Park was his own bizarre space-monster cult.
Matt Stone, who created the show with Trey Parker, says Hayes gladly went along with scripts that skewered all the popular religions practiced by billions of people, including Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Buddhism and Islam.
Scientology has about 100,000 followers and another half-million ex-Scientologists, according to Adherents.com.
Stone says he "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."
In fact, the South Park creators told GQ magazine this year that they had delayed parodying Scientology despite the incredible comedic possibilities - and they did it all for Hayes!
"To be honest, what kept us from [parodying Scientology] before was Isaac Hayes. We knew he is a Scientologist and he's an awesome guy. We were like, 'Let's just avoid that for now,'" Parker told GQ.
"Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, 'Dude, we totally love working with you and this is nothing personal, it's just we're South Park, and if we don't do this, we're belittling everything else we've ripped on.'"