In a move that comes as little surprise to those who watched last fall's brilliant (an overused adjective, but not here) "South Park" parody of Scientology --- in which Tom Cruise locks himself in the closet, Issac Hayes has quit the show.
Too bad. Ike's voice was made for animation, and "Chef" was a great character. But "South Park" can survive without him, because Trey Parker and Matt Stone get it. Hayes, unfortunately, does not. Blame the brainwashing.
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.
"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," Hayes continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."
("I have a dream, that all Scientologists can move up the Bridge to Clear and OT states ...)
Instead of cowering to Hayes' charge of religious bigotry, Stone, appropriately, whipped out the hypocrite card:
"This is 100% having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians."
Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker "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."
The Malcontent has raised many a toast to pop culture's premier satirists, but this one's a double!
As for Hayes, call us when the shuttle lands. Scientology can have Cruise, Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman and the rest, but us non-Thetans anxiously await the return of your hot buttered soul.