AUSTRALIA: Cartoon on 'Croc Man' death to be screened

South Park episode featuring Steve Irwin will air in the United States this week, in Australia likely next year

Times of India
Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sydney --- A controversial cartoon comedy poking fun at the death of Australia's "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin will likely screen in his home country, despite the offense it may cause, media has reported.

An episode of the irreverent US cartoon series "South Park", set to air in the United States this week, depicts the late Australian icon at a fancy dress party in Hell with a stingray barb sticking out of his chest.

Irwin was killed just eight weeks ago when a stingray barb pierced his heart while filming a segment for his daughter Bindi's upcoming children's documentary, prompting widespread mourning among Australians.

Australian television channel, SBS, which has the rights to the programme, said it would probably screen the episode next year, although that was yet to be decided as part of the network's classification process, Sky News reported.

"It is satire and we believe in the right to satire, but in this particular episode it is sensitive, just like many others, and we will consider that," SBS content manager Matt Campbell said.

"We have offended people in the past and probably will again," a South Park spokesman said after the show's website was flooded with outraged correspondence.

The series has repeatedly come under fire for its controversial content, with an episode showing the Virgin Mary menstruating sparking widespread protests among Catholics, and its mockery of Scientology prompting scientologist Isaac Hayes, one of South Park's main voice actors, to quit the show.