I’ve been with SOUTH PARK since the beginning, and I’ll readily admit that A LOT, like A LOT A LOT of their older episodes, have not aged well. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker built a brand around making fun of other celebrities while poking fun at themselves. While doing this, they’ve ridiculed the mentally ill, LBGTQ+ folks, environmentalists, the homeless, the overweight, and various religions and races, including the creators’ own. They’ve always said they are equal-opportunity offenders. When you’re straight, rich, thin, cisgender, white men though, throwing around the n-word and various other insults isn’t endearing to a large part of the population.
I’ve stuck with watching the show through the last 26 years while becoming more conscious of my own and SOUTH PARK’S blindspots. I’ve also noticed how considerably kinder they’ve gotten as the show becomes a young adult. THE WORLDWIDE PRIVACY TOUR, however, is SOUTH PARK back to its meanness and a low point of recent years.
Sure, none of us need to feel sorry for the Royal Family, which has been lampooned hard on SOUTH PARK over the last 2 ½ decades. Even with Harry and Megan stepping away from castle life, they are still better off than 99.9% of us in the world. It’s even absolutely okay to make fun of their recent publicity tour and docu-series. What the show fails to realize – or maybe the writers realized this but chose to ignore it, is how racist “The Firm” (aka those that run the Royal Family behind the scenes) was to Megan and how detrimental it was not only to her mental health, but would be to her children as well.
It’s easy to make fun of rich celebrities that will never want for anything. SOUTH PARK has been doing it for 26 seasons! But falling back on jokes that constantly punch down while not discussing the bigger picture is incredibly lazy. Every time I think the show makes a few progressive steps forward, along comes an episode that feels like a major fallback. Season 26 is off to a rocky start. I didn’t love the season premiere as much as my colleague Aaron did. They can only go up from here.
If you’re wondering where SOUTH PARK is currently airing, that’s a good question! New episodes air Wednesday night on Comedy Central and then hit HBOMax the next day. You should also be able to stream each episode on the Comedy Central app as well if you’ve got a cable subscription.