Cartoon Wars Part II  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Cartoon Wars Part II" is the fourth episode in the tenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 143rd episode of the series overall, it first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 12, 2006. After "Cartoon Wars Part I", it is the second part of a two-episode story-arc, which focuses on Cartman's efforts to get the television series Family Guy cancelled, by exploiting fears of retaliation by Muslims to an impending Family Guy episode in which the Islamic prophet Muhammad will appear, in violation of some interpretations of Muslim law. Kyle instead urges the president of the network airing Family Guy, Fox, to air the episode in an exercise of free speech.

The episodes were inspired by the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, which began in response to a Danish newspaper's printing of cartoons depicting Muhammed in early 2006, leading to worldwide protests and occasionally violent demonstrations and riots. It also comes from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's general dislike of Family Guy, which they viewed as overly reliant on cutaway gags as humor and less on story. During production, the duo ran into reluctance from Comedy Central and parent company Viacom, who felt their insistence to depict Muhammad disregarded concerns for public safety. Parker and Stone argued that the network was giving in to hypothetical violence, labeling them hypocrites due to their satirizing of other religions in the past. The network interference was written into the episode's storyline.

Comedy Central eventually aired the episode with a black title card during the Muhammad sequence, censoring the depiction. While the episode's censorship did attract headlines, it received more attention for its lampooning of Family Guy. The episode received positive reviews from television critics.


Eric Cartman has an intense dislike for the television program Family Guy. When he learns that an episode of the show is to feature a depiction of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, he exploits fears of retaliation to urge Fox, the network on which Family Guy airs, to pull the episode. Cartman pretends to be a sickly Danish kid with a broken leg, telling the Fox executives that his father was killed by terrorists during the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and pleading that they pull the Family Guy episode. His story touches the executives, who encourage him to try to persuade the writers to yield. Kyle, who likes Family Guy, arrives at the Fox Studio to foil Cartman's plans, but is knocked unconscious by an ally of Cartman's, a kid resembling Bart Simpson who, also wanting to destroy Family Guy, restrains Kyle in a supply shed.

Cartman is introduced to the Family Guy writing staff, who turn out to be a group of manatees. The staff, who live in a large tank, pick up "idea balls" from a large pile of them, each of which has a different noun, a verb or a pop culture reference written on it, and deliver them, five at a time, to a machine that then forms a Family Guy cutaway gag based on those ideas. The manatees refuse to work if any idea ball is removed from their tank, making censorship an unfeasible practice with them. Cartman secretly removes a ball from their tank, causing them to stop working, and then convinces the Fox president that the manatees are spoiled, and abusing the executives' generosity. Cartman convinces the president that they need to show them who's boss. The president decides to pull the new Family Guy episode shortly before airtime. Cartman feels victorious, but Kyle shows up, saying he convinced the Bart-like kid to set him free.

After a physical altercation between Cartman and Kyle, they both go to the Fox president's office. Kyle tells the president that Cartman has duped him into pulling the episode, and despite Cartman's brandishing of a gun, Kyle implores the president not to censor the episode. The network president ultimately decides, in spite of threats of violence from both Cartman and Islamic terrorists, that Family Guy should be aired, and without censorship. The Family Guy episode airs, and features Muhammad in a cutaway gag, handing Peter a "salmon football helmet", but the scene with Muhammad was cut by Comedy Central, and is replaced by a black screen and a title card reading, "In this shot, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy. Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."

Terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, reminding America that it was warned not to show Muhammad, initiates Al-Qaeda's retaliation — a crudely animated video depicting President George W. Bush, Carson Kressley, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Jesus Christ defecating on each other and the American flag.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cartoon Wars Part II" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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