When “South Park” ’s Chef felt the heat of Scientology satire, he got out of the kitchen.
Isaac Hayes announced yesterday that he was quitting Comedy Central’s hit animated show after being the voice of Chef for its first nine seasons.
“There is a place in the world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” Hayes said. “As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”
Hayes had defended the show in the past for offending just about everybody.
“This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology,” show co-creator, Matt Stone, told the Associated Press. “He has no problem – and he’s cashed plenty of checks – with our show making fun of Christians.”
Last season, Stone and Trey Parker poked fun at Scientology and Tom Cruise in the episode, “Trapped in the Closet,” which re-airs at 10 p.m. tomorrow.
Hayes didn’t like the episode.
“But I understand what they’re doing. I told them to take a couple of Scientology courses, and understand what we do,” Hayes said in a January interview with The Onion.
Stone and Parker also have run afoul of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The Catholic League applauded Hayes.
“We’re pleased to see somebdoy so ethically minded, taking a stand, and sacrificing his job for something he believes,” said League spokeswoman Kiera McCaffrey.
Stone and Parker appear tomorrow on “Late Night with David Letterman.” The 10th season of “South Park” debuts next week.
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