According to a report from TheHollywoodReporter.com, South Park sparked controversy again for the way in which they portrayed transgender athletes. Recently, much controversy surrounds transgender athletes in the culture, including on whether or not trans men should be able to compete in women’s categories.
The seventeenth episode of the 23rd season revolved around the character, Strong Woman, entering the Strongwoman Competition after she had already competed once in the years prior and came out victorious.
When asked by a sportscaster about the proposition of seeing trans men in the female category, Strong Woman says she’s happy about the idea and welcomes them. The purported comedy comes into play when Heather Swanson enters the frame, and it looks and sounds a lot like the late Randy Savage.
The Randy Savage-lookalike claims she started identifying as a woman “two weeks ago” for the sake of getting into the competition. Randy’s lookalike says, “I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some f*cking a*s.”
Ironically, Savage passed away at the age of 58-years-old in 2011. Later in the episode, Heather – the Randy Savage look-alike – obviously wins all of the female-dominated competitions and picks a fight with Strong Woman.
Later on in the episode, it turns out that the Randy Savage doppelganger was once a boyfriend of Strong Woman, and he chose to enter the competition as an act of revenge against him for embarrassing him in the past. Fans of the show know this wouldn’t be the first time South Park irritated particular groups.
Earlier this year, South Park reportedly sparked the ire of the Chinese government after the series’ creators portrayed the Xi Jinping as Winnie The Pooh. Moreover, Trey Parker and Matt Stone made fun of the fact that many Hollywood films are re-edited or re-written in some way in order to pass Chinese regulations.
In the episode, Stan is writing a script and every time he writes a word on the page, an official from the Chinese government scribbles it out and writes something different, to which Stan responds with: “now I know how Hollywood writers feel.”