Could Scientology be making Isaac Hayes' career decisions now? Upon further inspection, it appears Chef may not have quit the show on his own volition. Unfortunately, "Black Moses" apparently suffered a stroke in January and, according to Fox's Roger Friedman, "Hayes is in no position to have quit anything."
Nor would he want to, Friedman reports.
Last December, before his stroke, Hayes defended "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in an interview published on "The A.V. Club" Web site.
They did just do an episode that made fun of your religion, Scientology. Did that bother you?
Hayes: Well, I talked to Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker] about that. They didn't let me know until it was done. I said, 'Guys, you have it all wrong. We're not like that. I know that's your thing, but get your information correct, because somebody might believe that [expletive], you know?' But I understand what they're doing. I told them to take a couple of Scientology courses and understand what we do. [Laughs.]
And there's this, from a Jan. 2006 interview in the New York Daily News: "Nobody is exempt from their humor," Hayes said. "They're equal-opportunity offenders. Don't be offended by it. If you take it too seriously, you have problems."
Yet here's what he allegedly said just two months later:
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs ... begins."
Doesn't sound like the same guy, does it?
More from Friedman:
(I)t’s hard to know anything since Hayes, like Katie Holmes, is constantly monitored by a Scientologist representative most of the time Luckily, at the Blues Ball he was on his own, partying just with family and friends. He was very excited about having gotten married and about the impending birth of a new child.
Friends in Memphis tell me that Hayes did not issue any statements on his own about South Park. They are mystified.
"Isaac’s been concentrating on his recuperation for the last two and a half, three months," a close friend told me.
Hayes did not suffer paralysis, but the mild stroke may have affected his speech and his memory. He’s been having home therapy since it happened.
That certainly begs the question of who issued the statement that Hayes was quitting "South Park" now because it mocked Scientology four months ago. If it wasn’t Hayes, then who would have done such a thing?
I think we all know who'd do such a thing.