American Television Depicts Buddha Snorting Cocaine
By Michael Hardy
The Sunday Leader has uncovered a shocking new example of the West’s contempt for Buddhist culture and values. On two recent episodes of the popular American television show South Park, the Lord Buddha is depicted as a drug addict, graphically snorting several lines of cocaine. When contacted by The Sunday Leader, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Moral Uplift Secretary H. M. Herath expressed his indignation over the show’s contents.
“We are going to forward this to the responsible authorities,” Herath vowed. “We will take it to the Sangha and to the Buddhist Congress. This is defamation to every religion. It is a crime and hurts others’ beliefs, which shouldn’t be done by any person. We should respect other people’s beliefs.”
When asked what action the Ministry of Religious Affairs would take, Herath said that he would “ban the show, and even the entire TV series from coming to Sri Lanka.”
However, Herath would not say whether he would attempt to prevent the sale of South Park DVDs, which are widely available in Colombo.
The Sunday Leader has learned that Lord Buddha is a recurring character on South Park. He is portrayed as member of the “Super Best Friends,” along with Jesus, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, and other religious leaders. In the television show’s 200th episode last week, the Super Friends defend the fictional town of South Park, Colorado against a class-action lawsuit by a group of Hollywood celebrities led by Tom Cruise. Cruise promises to end the lawsuit if he can meet the Prophet Muhammad, but the people of South Park are afraid that if Muhammad visits their village there will be a terrorist attack. The show later depicts Muhammad in a bear costume. In previous episodes, the show depicted Muhammad directly, sparking Muslim anger.
In a scene likely to offend Buddhists all over the world, the show depicts Jesus scolding the Buddha for his drug abuse. The Buddha takes a rolled-up dollar bill and snorts several white lines of cocaine off the table.
“Buddha, don’t do coke in front of kids!” Jesus tells him.
In the most recent episode, the Buddha is again seen snorting lines of cocaine. Jesus tells him that his drug addiction is becoming a problem. The Buddha responds by pointing out that Jesus is watching internet porn. Jesus then says “Internet porn isn’t the same as doing coke, fag!” One can only wonder what religious people are to make of Jesus calling the Buddha a homosexual.
The two episodes, which were seen by 3.3 million viewers, have provoked criticism across the world, especially from Muslim groups who object to any representation of Muhammad. On the website Revolution Muslim, Abu Talheh al Amrikee warned the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, that they “will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show.” Filmmaker Van Gogh was murdered in 2004 in Amsterdam after making a documentary on violence against women in Islamic societies.
South Park, which has been on television since 1997, is seen all over the world through cable television and DVD sets. It used to be shown on the cable channel VH1 in Sri Lanka, but is now off the air.