The “uncensored” Muhammad clip is fake

The video clip that’s floating around the Internet, supposedly the “uncensored” version of the Muhammad scene in last night’s South Park episode, is a fake. Upon close inspection, you can clearly tell that somebody did a bit of photoshopping and sound editing, trying to make it look like the real thing. I suppose it’s hypothetically possible that “somebody” is Parker and Stone, but that seems very unlikely. There is no actual new animation in the clip — it goes directly from the last frame before the screen went black (i.e., the censorship disclaimer) to the first frame afterwards. The fakers simply pasted images of Muhammad (presumably from the “Super Best Friends” episode) onto the relevant frames, moved the “salmon helmet,” and messed with the audio a bit. Here, I’ll show you what I mean…

In the real episode, this is the last frame before the screen goes dark:

You see how the “salmon hemlet” is just outside the door? Okay, now take a look at the exact same frame of Peter (with his arms outstretched — there’s only one frame like it) in the alleged “uncensored” version:

As you can see, in this version Muhammad was walking into the house while Peter opened the door and stretched his arms out, whereas in the real version, Muhammad stayed out of view and the helmet stayed motionless throughout the entire time until the screen went dark. If there were really an “uncensored” version, it would presumably show Muhammad walking into the house after the final scene that Comedy Central allowed to air. But here, Muhammad walks in with the helmet during the very same frames of animation that aired just prior to the black screen announcing that Comedy Central had censored the scene. That doesn’t make any sense, unless the clip is fake.

The fakeness is even more obvious if you listen to the audio. I’m having trouble getting the real version of the video clip onto my Audioblogger account, but here’s the link where I downloaded it from; if you watch Peter opening the door, you’ll notice that the door makes a sound as it’s opening. In the allegedly “uncensored” version, by contrast, the door makes no noise at all while opening. The fakers had to edit it out, so that they could insert the sound of Muhammad supposedly saying “jihad, jihad.”


source file

Notice how the door makes a sound when it closes, after opening silently? Yeah, it’s not like that in the real episode. Fakery, I tell you, fakery!

As for the “jihad” business… presumably the fakers got the sound clip from one of the Al Qaeda-related episodes. I don’t believe Muhammad ever said “jihad, jihad” in the “Super Best Friends” episode. (For the uninitiated, South Park typically portrays Al Qaeda terrorists as speaking in an incoherent gobbledy-gook language that consists largely of a few actual Arabic words repeated over and over, creating sentences such as: “Jihad jihad, Mohammed jihad, Ramadan.”) [UPDATE: The audio is from the movie Team America: World Police, according to a commenter. They do use “jihad, jihad” jibberish-speak too, so that makes sense.]

But here’s the real smoking gun. I mentioned that they were messing with the salmon helmet; well, check this out. Here is the identical frame from the real version (left) and the fake version (right):

Notice anything? In the real version, the helmet is behind the door (as it should be), but in the fake version, the photoshopping actually caused the helmet to be mysteriously in front of the door for a split second! It’s only one frame, but it pretty much proves that this thing is a photoshop job.

The fake-itude doesn’t stop there, however. In the real episode, as I said, the very last frame before the screen goes black shows Peter with outstreched arms. Then, after the black-screen message announcing that Muhammad had been censored, we see an image of Peter, all by himself, holding the helmet:

In the fake version, we cut directly from the frame of Peter with outstretched arms to the image of Peter holding the helmet; there is no black screen in between, but neither is there anything added in between. Read my lips: no new animation. Instead, we (again) see the exact same image… except Muhammad is pasted into it:

Again, no new scenes have been added; they simply pasted Muhammad into the existing scenes from the real episode. Granted, they did a pretty darn good job of animating Muhammad walking into the house, but everything around him is totally unchanged, and not a single frame of video is added. (They did extend a static frame of Peter standing near the door by about a second, thus making the scene slightly longer.)

The audio-editing job was somewhat less impressive and is the easiest-to-spot giveaway that this is a fake. But kudos to the fakers for a good prank that fooled an awful lot of people, including Volokh.

On the other hand, kudos also to the folks at SP Scriptorium, who figured this out right away, asking: “Still, shouldn’t Muhammad look like a Family Guy character and not a South Park one? I’m thinking Photoshop here…”

So, the “uncensored” video is fake. But is this whole controversy fake? I think maybe so. I’m still not convinced Comedy Central isn’t playing a massive prank on us all.

Below, you can view this post as it originally appeared, before I realized the clip was fake.

*********
ORIGINAL POST
*********

Via Volokh (hat tip: I Heart Jeric), here’s a screenshot of the censored scene; video clip to follow shortly.

But the person at SP Scriptorium, where it was originally posted, asks, “Still, shouldn’t Muhammad look like a Family Guy character and not a South Park one? I’m thinking Photoshop here…” It would be a pretty damn good Photoshop job, considering there’s a whole video clip that goes with it, and it looks seamless. [UPDATE: On the other hand, the audio isn’t exactly seamless.] I assume it’s real… and its existence makes me wonder, yet again, if this is just a publicity stunt, with Comedy Central in on the joke. Otherwise, how would this clip have gotten out onto the Internet so quickly? I suppose Parker and Stone or some other disgruntled employee could have leaked it… but isn’t it equally plausible that this is a very well-orchestrated stunt by South Park and Comedy Central?

UPDATE: Here’s the video clip:


source file

You can download it from SP Scriptorium.

66 Responses to “The “uncensored” Muhammad clip is fake”

  1. Lisa says:

    I don’t think the apperance of Mohammad would indicate that it’s a fake, since I have a feeling that they would want Mohammad to look just as he did the last time he was on the show, to further emphasize that he’s been featured on the show before (and is in the opening) and that was no big deal.

  2. Lisa says:

    Also, I just noticed that the helmet changes sizes between the two shots (notice the two screenshots here) but the fish stays the same size. Photoshopping, or just crappy animation to make fun of Family Guy?

  3. Brendan Loy says:

    It’s definitely fake. I’m working on an update.

  4. jar jar blinks says:

    um, excuse me, would the law offices of woodward, bernstein and loy give this scandal a marketable title so that i may refrence it in casual conversation without having to explain the backstory…

  5. Lisa says:

    Ok, upon closer examination, maybe it doesn’t change size, but notice Mohammad’s left hand (if that’s what it’s supposed to be). It’s outlined like the rest of the Family Guy animation. And after Peter shuts the door and walks away, it’s there again (though we could assume it’s Peter’s hand….but still…)

  6. 4-7 says:

    What is the copyright liability for something like the Cartoon Wars skit. I know matters of public concern and comment have fair wiggle room at spoofing, but they used a lot of likely copyrights family guy images (even if slight bastardizations). Anyone know ?

  7. dcl says:

    My opinion is that in all likelihood there was an accord reached between South Park and Comedy Central.

    From the Irony perspective this is totally dripping — cartoon talking about censorship and fighting against it is itself censored. With slates that follow south park production values.

    As I said, if your true goal was to censor you re-jigger your commercials so you cut to commercial right when what you want to eliminate is going to come on. And come back after the offending material. What you don’t do is say your censoring it unless that is part of the ironical joke.

    However, that does not necessarily contradict the statements made by Comedy Central. And South Park could have been blasting them for censorship in this two part episode. Comedy Central might have told them they could not air an unknown episode — which pissed off Parker and Stone leading them to develop this episode which blasts the hell out of Comedy Central. (and they could well have threatened to quit over it they did not get something out of the deal (say a two part highly publicized episode about stupid censorship on TV that with a heavy whack at Comedy Central)).

    Comedy Central censoring them does not preclude this episode having been aired as written. However, if that were the case they wrote something else that Comedy Central would not air — making the statements made about Comedy Central in the slates accurate as well as Comedy Central’s statements today. Also that would be a reason Comedy Central might “puss out” airing an episode that is quite heavy handed against them for censorship.

  8. jar jar blinks says:

    after ‘peter’ closes the door you can clearly see his head go back and to the left, see, watch it again, back and to the left, so clearly this fake, when someone closes a door they need to lean into the close, there was a second closer, how could ‘peter’ be closing the door… it doesn’t make any sense..

  9. David Kreutz says:

    sure Jar Jar, you can call it the

    South-Park-Family-Guy-Comedy-Central-Mohammed-Manatee-gate scandal

  10. NEW COMEDY CENTRAL LOGOS

    Blogger Jay Inman e-mails his submission: Damian Penny dubs the network: “Cowardly Central.” *** Meanwhile, Shawn Wasson has a video clip of what may be the uncensored South Park episode: (A Volokh Conspiracy commenter thinks it may be fake.) ***750p…

  11. jar jar blinks says:

    brilliantly deduced! i’m sold, it’s a fake. but has anyone else noticed that the South-Park-Family-Guy-Comedy-Central-Mohammed-Manatee-gate scandal post makes brendan sound like a rambling lunatic in a secret meeting at the docks?

  12. See the [FAKE] censored clip of Mohammed from South Park, now playing on the web.–

    [2d UPDATE: I have had a call into South Park Studios for a while to try to get them to confirm or deny the authenticity of the clip. Until then, I find

  13. Did Comedy Central Censor South Park?

    Did Comedy Central censor tonight’s episode of South Park? The answer would appear to be YES.

    [UPDATE: In response to my inquiries whether the statement aired on South Park on Wednesday night was accurate, early this mor…

  14. shot in the dark says:

    Would the Comedy Central logo be displayed in the lower right-hand corner for a clip that wasn’t broadcast?

    Also, in the pic above this “Again, no new scenes have been added;” that compares the two frames – Peter seems to have had some fingers magic-wanded out ;) (the ones on the far side of the blasphemous salmon helmet)

  15. Dhimmidy Central

    Comedy Central censored the image of Muhammad from it’s South Park episode. However they had the stones to air images of Bush and Jesus being defecated on.

    Bareknucklepolitics.com may have the uncensored video. Some think it’s a fake.
    Michelle …

  16. The Two Faces Of Viacom

    “MTV To Air Pope-Bashing Cartoon in Germany, With Crucifixion-Mocking Ad” “Comedy Central Censored Mohammed” Update: Michelle Malkin has lots of links on this topic, and has even opened her comments section for discussion. Another Update: This is …

  17. South Park Mohammed backoff

    Michelle Malkin: Confirmed:Comedy Central censored the image. Power Line: “And last night’s show reportedly included a scene of Jesus defecating on President Bush, so the cartoons evidently weren’t deleted out of any delicate sensibility.” Captain…

  18. gultig says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the supposed jury.

    This…    is…    Chewbaca.

    Do yourself a favor and read the article with the voice of SP’s version of Johnny Cochran. :)

    Is it just me? Maybe I have too much time on my hands.

  19. mbruce says:

    They never ever intended to show Mo from the git go!
    That would have been so anticlimactic as to make it merely lame. This was pure friggin genius from top to bottom.

  20. Brendan Loy says:

    Mbruce, that would directly contract the official statements coming from Comedy Central today… but I think you may be right; see my most recent post.

  21. Hollywood_Freaks says:

    The audio is from Team America.

  22. David Farrar says:

    South Park censored

    South Park has got away with ridiculing the Church of Scientology, with grossly offensive episodes against Catholics, in fact with most things. How-ever Comedy Central has deleted/censored from last night’s show a four second harmless (just giving som…

  23. Joe Papp says:

    Comedy Central —– Cluck Cluck Cluck, may you all die of

    BIRD FLU! How appropriate..

    Joe

  24. CNH says:

    I believe the audio is actually from the episode, “Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants”

    http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/southpark/season5/southpark-509.htm

    [Osama’s cave, day. Inside, at table, the Taliban guards are celebrating Osama’s birthday. The guards and Osama wear party hats]
    Osama bin Laden: [b]Aw, jihad, jihad.[/b] [the boys look at each other for reactions, and the alarms go off] Oh? [walks over to his security screen and sees the Americans converging outside the cave entrance, then runs around unsure what to do] Oh, oh! Ameriqa haqa haqa! Dursha! Dapadapadapa! [the guards respond and give each other orders while moving out. Osama pulls out a walkie-talkie and speaks into it] Hulagugla hugagugahagahaa!

  25. DUH says:

    Well, is it Muhammad or a fake Muhammad? Hopefully the religion of peace will not come after us and try to cut off our heads…. :D

  26. Week-End Links

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  27. Uncensored South Park Muhammed Clip Video

    The South Park Scriptorium has the video of Mohammed handing a football to the Family Guy that was censored in part 2 of the season ten “South Park” episode “Cartoon Wars.” Mohammed says “Jihad. Jihad.” and Family G…

  28. […] Brendan Loy does some extensive scene-by-scene comparison with the episode that aired and concludes that it is quite likely a forgery. […]

  29. […] Much electronic ink has been spilled over the "did Comedy Central censor South Park" issue. I've been silent on it because I really don't watch the show. Brendan Loy, though, is on the case of the video clip that is circulating that allegedly shows the censored footage. […]

  30. […] Also, Brendan Loy thinks this whole ordeal is a publicity stunt. […]

  31. South Park vs. Cartoon Jihad/2

    [click here to read the english version of this post]

    Censurati nella seconda puntata dell’episodio di South Park dedicato alle Cartoon Wars islamiche, Trey Parker e Matt Stone attaccano il network Comedy Central (da Michelle Malkin, qualche propo…

  32. Angrier and Angrier says:

    My theory is the amount of time Brendan has spent on this subject he has just lost .02 from his GPA.

  33. Paul says:

    That image of Muhammad is from an older version of South Park. The Islamic community didn’t complain about it then because he is depicted as a badass flame throwing super-hero.

    You can watch that episode here:
    http://www.scientomogy.com/south_park_scientology.php

  34. […] Also, Brendan Loy thinks this whole ordeal is a publicity stunt. […]

  35. […] The Irish Trojan with more proof it’s a fake. […]

  36. Did you notice the direct reference to the president of Comedy Central at the end of the second South Park Mohammed episode? When Kyle is pleading with the president of the Fox Network to air the image of Mohammed in The Family Guy uncensored, he says at one point, specifically:

    “You can’t do what he [Cartman] wants, just because he’s the one threatening you with violence. Yes, people can get hurt. That’s how terrorism works. But if you give into that, Doug, you’re allowing terrorism to work. Do the right thing here.�

    This is the only such reference to “Doug” in the script. Everywhere else in the episode, this character is simply referred to as “Mr. President.â€? This “Doug” is undoubtedly Doug Herzog, the President of Comedy Central.

    I blogged about it, and posted the relevant audio clip, here: http://plusultrablog.com/blog/?p=1209

    Kind Regards,

    Tracy R. Twyman
    Editor, Plus Ultra
    http://www.plusultrablog.com/

  37. umair nazir says:

    what ever was done was simply very wrong! i am a muslim and i watch south park but shoing our prophet was sumthing that shudnt have been done! fine if this episode was fake wat about the super best friends! muhammad (peace be upon him) was our last holy prophet.. you should not make fun of sum1s religion u all know that! then why was the super best friends aired? does no one care for the muslims or are we simply not humans to u! people all around the world know that no one can draw a picture of the muhammad ( peace be upon him) and yet still… the denmark thing led to a disaster why still insist on making such a cartoon… im totally disappointed

  38. Alan says:

    http://plusultrablog.com/blog/?p=756

    The above link shows that the Mohammed scene was used in a Season 4 episode!!! That means they took that image for use of this fake uncensored clip.

  39. jar jar binks says:

    um, is umair for real?

  40. bob lawblaw says:

    I’m really disappointed Comedy Central didn’t have the balls to show the image of Muhammed uncensored. You know this is only going to add fuel to the writing fires of Matt & Trey. Which is good for the show… now they’ll most likely get meaner and more creative when mocking religions. Look at how they made fun of Scientology in the season 10 opener… “Super Adventure Club” haha. They’ll most likely be coming back to this and ripping on Comedy Central or the entire Muslim religion (instead of just the prophet). So way to go Comedy Central, hope you enjoy that one.

  41. […] But then again, it could be fake. I found Brendan Loy, who has a analysis that the video might be fake. […]

  42. Paul says:

    Well i dont think that umair is for real cause anyone who is a fan of south park complaining about how there religion was made fun of is just insane. Im not sure where anyone who likes south park finds the balls to say making fun of Muhammad is wrong. Might be wrong but i think the same goes for having jesus crap all over everyone or making fun of just about every other religion too. That is ofcourse unless you dont care about anyone else religion in which case you still have no right to complain. This was a simple way to bring the spotlight on their show nothing more. They have showed Muhammad before and would do it again if it wernt for the fake that it works out so much better this way. All of you are talking about it and theres a good chance you will watch the reruns. Now where would they get this idea from. I dont know maybe from the ep that cause a star to quit and made fun of another religion. Anyway i think the fact that Muhammed is no higher up to the southpark wrighters and the CC netwock then any other figure of religion should have been shown in the super best friends ep and the fact that there r still re-runs of it on. Its a fack because there was never a plan to show a sceen there. Thats the big joke.

  43. Anon says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but you don’t think the true animators use shortcuts like using the same frame when they make the actual animation? It’s understandable that doing this saves time so it is just as likely they used the same tactic as they would in various areas throughout all of their cartoons.

    Also, sort of odd, but I downloaded this about 2 hours after it came on because I forgot to watch it on TV. Muhammad was in the version I downloaded and I didn’t even know they had censored it until today.

  44. The Plus Ultra blog now has available for download and reposting an audio file called “Censorship Central.”

    This short techno/rave mash-up is an homage to South Park’s recent attempt to break the Mohammed cartoon taboo. It’s cut to a techno version of traditional Danish music that I stole from an educational CD published by the European Union’s Youth Commission.

    You can read about it and listen to it here: http://plusultrablog.com/blog/?p=1223

    Anyone can feel free to repost it anywhere they want to. Just please post a link back to plusultrablog.com

    Best Wishes,

    Tracy R. Twyman
    Editor, Plus Ultra
    http://www.plusultrablog.com/

  45. […] Update 3: Turns out this clip is fake. Click the link to see a shot-by-shot analysis; read the comments here for more. […]

  46. Muhand says:

    I know its fake but it seems that it’s real though it was pasted in there. I just was wondering but what is the REAL reason of why Mohammad can’t be allowed to appear uncensored in South Park on Comedy Central?

  47. Muhand says:

    Oh wait one more thing. I saw the video clip and yes it’s true. Why would Mohammad have the look format of South Park instead of Family Guy? And the clip of where he says Thanks, if you watch it very carefully, you’d see that the clip doesn’t look like making any sense.

  48. Muhand says:

    Oh gosh I have just one more thing. “Super Best Friends” episode of South Park will air on UPN April 27 at 11:00 in most areas. This episode features the animated Mohammad uncenesored.

  49. Poppy says:

    *The Miraculous Toga*Of course it’s a fake. Just take a look at the toga! As Peter approaches the door the toga is draped over his LEFT SHOULDER (side closest to the ‘camera’). In the last frame, as Peter is leaving, the toga has mysteriously and, might I add, magically moved as to be draped over his RIGHT SHOULDER (again, the side closest to the ‘camera’). The toga actually switches shoulders when when he turns around! This should be the most obvious of all mistakes that truly proves the unsubstantiated clip is, in fact, a fake.

  50. Jon says:

    Doesn’t anyone see? This is a classic south park Muhammed! SP version FG Peter is not animated in the traditional SP way, so why wouldn they create a muhammed to be drawn in original manner on the SP version FG Show? This is fake.

  51. Muhammad says:

    Hi… it’s like so nice to see so many guys talkin bout me…

  52. Jesus Christ says:

    Look apon me and know me. My children why are you all bothering so much about the appereance of Muhammed. I have been ‘made the fool out of’ countless of times in South Park, (Including the time I was killed trying to save Santa in ‘Red sliegh down.’ My children you all suck, for not saying anything about me being portrayed the jackass every damn time I appear, and as Eric Theodore Cartman would say, ‘screw you guys I’m going home.’

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  54. AJenbo says:

    Posting the original clip would have helped to prove this as a fake i think.
    I realy doubth that there would have been a camera cut like that in the sceen if it was the real “missing” sceen”.
    The bad sound job also helps to prove this as a fake, does any one have links to the original either from the osama episode or a clip from Team America?
    By the way Team America is a puppet movie also made by the creators of SP.

    The ironic thing is that this shot was actualy printed in a Danish newpapir [24 timer] claming that it was the real unsensued clip and a quote from Trey Parker and Matt Stone saying “they just don’t want to show it because they are afraid of beeing blownup” (requoted from my memmory).

    The episode was aird in Denmark the 4 december sadly i didn’t have access to the channel that shows it here but i don’t think the comedy central logo is normaly on it, so that would be further proof that the clip is a fake.

  55. Moises says:

    Salam a todos, soy argentino y escucha algo sobre una historieta en mi pais que se llama Dr. Capo
    y que se burla de la religion islamica hasta elpunto que aparece un personaja llamado El Tio Isla m
    y es dicen que es tan ofensiva hasta el punto de que el personaje es tratado de nazi.
    Investiguen y piensen al respecto.

    Salam Aleikum

  56. Thomas says:

    Here is a major fault that I noticed:

    …and probably the most damning of all:

    Every single person that appears in the Family Guy Spoof is drawn the same. Mohammad would be drawn to match the animation style. Perhaps the most important distinction between South Park animation and the South Park Family guy spoof animation is the eyes. Look at all of the people that appear inthe spoof. David Hasselhoff, Mr. T, etc. all have that special something in their eyes: the top and bottom eyelids are visible throughout the whole spoof.

    And to those who say that Trey and Matt never made the Mohammed scene at all:

    An April 13, 2006 interview with South Park executive producer Anne Garefino (on the weblog The Volokh Conspiracy) reveals that South Park’s producers continued to fight Comedy Central’s executives over the censored scene right up to the night before the episode aired. According to Garefino, the producers were given the choice to censor the scene themselves, or to provide the scene intact and allow Comedy Central to censor it. They elected to write the language of the censoring statement themselves; she said “We wanted everyone to understand how strongly we felt about this”. The network’s decision was reportedly based on fear of violent reprisal, rather than a desire to protect what Muslims find sacred. A version of the episode featuring an uncensored Mohammed was animated. However, Garefino confirmed that an internet clip, which purported to be the deleted scene, was a forgery.

  57. Al Makari says:

    Hello I am a muslim. For showing mohammed i am going to find you and kill you. Just kidding. Rock on.

  58. Anonymous says:

    You think dats bad, remember the time South Park showed an image of Osama Bin Laden

  59. Osama Bin Laden says:

    this is soo fucking gay y the fuck r u arguing over this shit my fuckin god ….. who the fuck is mohammed any way fuck

  60. Keith Richards says:

    This is super gay im wasted and superr stoned but yet i no when i find a bunch of fuckin fags in a fuckin south park chat room

  61. Anonymous says:

    Mohammed is jewish

  62. Anonymous says:

    The “Oh, jihad, jihad” is from South Park episode…. Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants