Hayes Quits 'South Park' over Scientology Satire

Singer Isaac Hayes, who for years lent his mellow voice to the South Park character Chef, has quit the raucous Comedy Central cartoon after an episode that lampooned Scientology. Hayes is a Scientologist.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan are just going to have to get along without Chef. This week, singer Isaac Hayes asked to be released from his role as the mellow voice of the hip and wise cafeteria manager on Comedy Central's South Park. The very adult cartoon show has made its name by offending just about every race, creed and color in the known universe. But when the program took on Scientology, Mr. Hayes, who is a practicing Scientologist, walked. He said, There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends, and intolerance and bigotry towards the religious beliefs of others begin.

South Park creator Mark Stone responded by saying, This has nothing to do with intolerance, and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion. Mr. Hayes will be allowed to leave the program. Maybe Englebert Humperdinck is available.

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WERTHEIMER: Coming up, from South Park to South by Southwest. Is the music gathering still good? Stay tuned.

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