Here’s Why Those ‘South Park’ Episodes With Tom Cruise Aren’t Available To Stream on Max

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While South Park has wrestled with many controversies over its quarter-of-a-century run, most of them have come and gone to pass without much lingering behind. Their famous bout with Scientology, “Trapped in the Closet,” garnered a lot of attention both positive and negative from Issac Hayes departing the show to one of the celebrity targets of that episode: Tom Cruise. For a time the episode was not shown in reruns but now, alongside 300 other episodes, “Trapped in the Closet” is available to stream on Max. However, there are two episodes with Tom Cruise as the antagonist that are not on Max, nor available for digital purchase on any platform. Episodes “200” and 201,” which were supposed to be the show looking back at its legacy, were marked with the biggest controversy the show received, including episode “201” only ever airing once on television. But their removal has only a little to do with Tom Cruise.

South Park Vs. Scientology (and Tom Cruise)

“Trapped in the Closet” aired November 16th, 2005 and the show started a trajectory of one of its biggest controversies. Parker and Stone always avoided Scientology as a subject of mockery out of loyalty to Isaac Hayes, the practicing Scientologist that voiced Chef, but nearly ten years into their run they could no longer resist. After learning from their friend Penn Jillette that Showtime would not allow an episode of his show Penn & Teller: Bullshit to focus on the notoriously litigious group, South Park took that as a challenge and their network was more lenient.

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