There was no way The Church of Scientology, of all things, would escape South Park‘s satirical animation. The same goes for Tom Cruise, the Church adherent whose proclivities have often been questioned. The episode “Trapped in the Closet,” which aired November 16, 2005, made fun of both. When it wasn’t rebroadcast as scheduled on March 15, 2006, rumors swirled. Some said Cruise was behind it, though he denied any involvement. That week, another Scientologist, Isaac Hayes—who voiced Chef on the show—said in a statement that he was leaving South Park, taking issue with the show’s portrayal of religious beliefs. “Trapped in the Closet” was shelved that week; the rerun “Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls” aired in its place.
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