HomeTV ShowWhich 'South Park' Episode Made Fun Of Tom Cruise And Scientology?

    Which ‘South Park’ Episode Made Fun Of Tom Cruise And Scientology?

    Christian Bale cites Tom Cruise as his inspiration for Patrick Bateman in ‘American Psycho‘. He had seen the ‘Mission: Impossible’ star’s appearance on David Letterman and was taken aback by Cruise’s “very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes.” But ‘South Park’ creators don’t scare so easily.

    Matt Stone and Trey took on Tom Cruise and the cult of Scientology in the episode ‘Trapped In The Closet.’ Once again, they used animated characters as their mouthpiece to speak against bizarre claims of organized religion. But their stubbornness led to a potentially litigious situation.

    Related: Did Tom Cruise Try To Introduce Seth Rogan To Scientology?

    ‘South Park’: ‘Trapped In The Closet’ Plot Involving Tom Cruise

    A still from 'South Park' episode 'Trapped In The Close'
    A still from ‘South Park’ episode ‘Trapped In The Closet.’

    South Park’ creators want you to know that L. Ron Hubbard was just a science fiction writer. ‘Trapped In The Closet’ begins like another day in South Park until everything goes sideways. Stan finds himself taking a personality test set by Scientologists. Declared depressed, he is declared the perfect candidate for Scientology. 

    To cover the entrance fee, he gives away his bike savings. Stan scores high thetan scores during his auditing, alarming the top brass at the Scientology headquarters. Scientologists of the world come to conclude that Stan is the reincarnation of Hubbard. Soon, Stan’s house is surrounded by followers, including John Travolta and Tom Cruise. 

    Upset by Stan, or the other person he’s supposed to be, Tom Cruise locks himself in the closet, a call back to the ingenious episode title. When Stan takes his role as a leader seriously, he’s called out for wanting to make a difference. For all its claims of communal welfare and spiritual unity, religion remains a money-making venture. 

    In Case You Missed: Is ‘South Park’ Based On Real-Life Characters?

    What Was The Reaction To ‘South Park’ Episode About Tom Cruise And Scientology?

    Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, had to leave the show
    Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, had to leave the show

    Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, left the show because of the Scientology episode. A follower himself, he was upset without Stone and Parker’s handling of the subject. They were surprised by the claim of religious intolerance, given how Hayes said nothing until the shoe dropped on his side. 

    They hit back at Hayes’ double standards, saying they never “heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.” He even tried to convince Comedy Central not to air the episode. When he left, there were multiple reports of his departure. His son later confirmed leaving ‘South Park’ wasn’t his father’s idea.

    Then came the possibility of being sued by Tom Cruise. There were also concerns about the episode’s syndication in other countries. Comedy Central canceled the episode’s telecast without prior notice. When asked about the episode, Tom Cruise completely shrugged it off. Dubbed ‘Closetgate,’ it was noticed the show received positive publicity from this debacle. 

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    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur is a Content Writer at First Curiosity, who, in his personal time, is writing the greatest "overcoming post-academic slump existential crises" story. His current obsessions are John Cassavetes and Jack Kerouac; musically, he belongs to Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.

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