‘South Park’ Stirs Up Controversy With Episode About Trans Athletes

“South Park” has been no stranger to controversy throughout its 23 season, but there are some who feel that this week’s episode crossed a line by making fun of transgender athletes.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the animated comedy’s episode “Board Girls”, which aired Wednesday, offered a satirical take on the the hot-button issue of trans athletes with a plot involving school vice principal Strong Woman competing in a strongwoman competition.

She faces steep competition when a new entrant hits the scene, named Heather Swanson, who looks and sounds exactly like late WWE superstar Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Savage passed away in 2011 at age 58).

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Heather explains that she began identifying as female “two weeks ago” just so she could participate in the competition. “I’m not here to talk about my transition, I’m here to kick some f**king ass,” she says, claiming to be “ready to smash the other girls.”

While the episode was clearly meant to provoke, at least one actual transgender athlete is not impressed.

On Thursday, world track cycling champion Rachel McKinnon, who is trans, took to Twitter to dismiss the episode as “lazy,” and blasted series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker as “transphobes.”

“I’m not particularly mad about the South Park episode,” she wrote. “Yes it’s transphobic. Yes it’s lazy. Yes it contributes to harm to trans women and girls. But they’re lazy and increasingly irrelevant. F**k, Futurama made the same stupid storyline in 2003. Transphobes don’t have new jokes.”

She followed up in a second tweet, insisting that “South Park” has been “deeply transphobic the *entire time.* This isn’t their first explicitly transphobic story line. It won’t be their last. Stone and Parker are transphobes. Write them off. Ignore their lazy show.”

Meanwhile, Twitter was sharply divided on the issue, with some — including British talk show host Piers Morgan — supporting the show.

Others, however, followed McKinnon’s lead and took the show to task.

ET Canada has reached out to Comedy Central for comment.

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