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South Park’s ‘Whale Wars’ Parody–‘Normal Like Us’

Written by PETA | October 29, 2009

Oh, South Park. So irreverent, yet poignant! Consider last night’s Whale Wars parody, in which Stan takes Captain Paul Watson’s place in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and steps up the conservationists’ campaign in a way only possible through cartoon violence. (Yes, there were explosions.)

Amidst the world’s rightful outcry at the injustice of whaling, Stan fights the good fight—protecting whales from senseless slaughter—and along the way finds out the real reason why the Japanese government thinks it’s A-OK to attack beloved marine life.

More commentary—with spoilers—after the jump.

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  • Missi says:

    Mitchell I agree with you about the cruelty of killing dolphins. Although I don’t agree with Rydizzle and some other people saying killing cows is somehow ok because they’re prey?. Cows are said to be as intelligent as a 3 year old child and they have emotions just as we do. Just because people have the ability to reproduce them it doesn’t mean it is less cruel to kill cows pigs etc. But I guess those people feel the need to justify their action of eating beef so they don’t feel as though they are doing something contradictory. I’m Japanese and I’ve never eaten whale meat although I know it was more common back in the days and regarded good as high source of protein. These days you rarely come across whale meat so I doubt people my age has ever eaten it. Also let’s not forget that countries like the US used to kill whales for their blubber and dumped the rest and once they no longer needed it they suddenly turned to the Japanese and Scandinavians and said it is wrong to kill them for food. If you ask me an Aussie killing kangaroos is just as bad and I do get the impression that people somehow think that killing can be justified when the animals in question are turned agricultural. So then if we were to create dolphin or large scale whale farms would it justify killing them? for food? like cows and pigs? I guess that’s something to think about. By the way I’m against it all including whales dolphins cows and pigs. I think a lot of people have double standards to make their life more convenient. Mitchell regarding your comment “the mercurypoisoned dolphin meat that is being fed to their children and everyone else in Japan” where did you get this idea because I’ve never seen dolphin meat being sold at supermarkets and you probably watched the meat being sold in the local fishing market in the villages near where they slaughtered the dolphins but your comment gives the impression that dolphin meat is commonly consumed in Japan. Well it’s not. Never seen it in restaurants nor supermarkets and I believe 99 Japanese has never come across dolphin meat. One thing I find a huge problem living in Japan is that fur is very very common in the fashion industry and the population against fur is still too small to have an impact as big as in the US or UK. If you go to Yahoo Japan shopping website there is a “Fur” category which does not exist in Yahoo UK for example. Real fur is so common in the market that few people actually think about how it gets there. So I really hope more celebrities speak up against fur and follow the path that US and UK has taken. Sorry this was a little off the topic but I just wanted to highlight a cruelty that is taking place on a bigger scale.

  • Sim says:

    South Park is making fun of PETA and your actions…and dont say because someone is making fun of your ridiculous organization that they hate animals they hate you thats it live with it.

  • Rydizzle says:

    I think the “hypocrisy” that is pointed out was a minor point at best. Slaughtering whales and dolphins is nowhere near the same as slaughtering cows and chickens. Whales and dolphins are more predatory while cows and chickens are clearly prey. What we do to cowschickens is messed up but they will be around forever.

  • Amy says:

    It was satire. They were pointing out the hypocrisy of Americanswe cry about the Japanese killing whales and dolphins but yet we kill chickens and cows without a second thought. Anybody with a half of brain could have put that one together.

  • Cortney DeWalt says:

    I think this episode although a parody was pretty informative. I think that besides the fact that the reasoning for the Japanese killing dolphins in the episode was not true it gave a decent overview of what is happening overseas. I know that I am the type of person to go look up random things I hear online but not a lot of people are like me. The “normal like us” comment for me didn’t say to me that Americans are dirty meat eaters. I think that it said that factory farms are basically slaughtering viciously just like the Japanese.

  • Fern says:

    This episode is by no means proPETA nor antiPETA. It was simply satirizing how the show Whale Wars is doing absolutely nothing to help whales. They were focusing on the show not the issue. As for the end of the episode… it satirizes how Americans cry about how EVIL other countries are for killing the “cute” animals yet continue to eat other animals ex cows and chickens. It IS rather ironic when you get right down to it. So for any of you who honestly think this episode was spreading the movement… no it wasn’t. Not at all. I’m sorry to disappoint you.

  • Kristen Schlatter says:

    I think that this episode was a wonderful idea to get the public to see what is going on but without knowing that this is a real issue no one is going to take action. People will just laugh it off and continue to watch the show for the humor and not the issues they bring up.

  • Ashley Schorkhuber says:

    The parody of “Whale Wars” gave me a different perspective on the whaling conflict than I expected. Although South Park lacks the finesse of other social conventions it adds a visual punch to the movement to stop the whaling indiscretions of the Japanese. It touches on the lack of concern in society today with the television appearance of Stan as a new celebrity for a hit TV show rather than his work stopping dolphin killings. It also points out that Stan accomplishes things through violence and that the pacifism of Paul Watsons crew has gotten them nowhere so far. This might not be necessarily true but the way to get noticed and get results quickly does seem to be the violent approach as with Earth First and other vigilante groups. The reasoning for the Japanese slaughtering of dolphins was obviously fabricated but it laid out a good question. Why are they doing it? There dont seem to be better reasons than those presented in this ridiculous cartoon. The allusion to it being a hatred started by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki leads me to think that South Park creators were pointing out that it is America that made the industry so huge. Except the reality of it is it became huge as a form of entertainment in America and then was taken too far by the Japanese. Overall I felt the episode covered the basic premise of the conflict on dolphin slaughter and left food for thought when dolphins were replaced with cows and chickens. The remark that Now they are normal like us says to me that the next thing to do is look at our own industries and realize that the dolphin slaughters were only slightly overexaggerated and that means that our chicken and cow slaughters seem just as ridiculous to other people as the Japanese dolphin genocide does to us. The only real qualm I had with the representation of the issue is the fact that the need to do something stemmed from Stan loving dolphins in captivity. This is as bad as simply slaughtering the dolphins and slightly more inhumane because the dolphin suffers longer. That should not have been condoned in the episode because it sends the wrong message about the movement to stop these slaughters in Japan.

  • Whitney Skidmore says:

    This episode of south park i found funny at first but then i realized that it was a cruel joke. Mass killing of whales is not a joke and is actualy happening…and its sickening.

  • Emily Clark says:

    Even though watching whale wars on south park would not be my first choice it does express what is actally happening very well. I also feel that using a south park episode to show this is gettng the word across to teenagers who are the next generation to be able to put a stop to whale wars.

  • Erin Leffler says:

    Using South Park as a means of expressing a topic that is this complex and intense would not be my first choice but it does stretch to a completely different audience than those primarily teenagers that might not necessarily have found out that this issue was even occurring. Hopefully this will spur people to do more research about this issue and to see the seriousness of it rather than assuming it is just another topic to be joked upon. The more information that is out there on this subject the better.

  • Kevin D. says:

    This an interesting way to get the word out about this important issue. I believe it is more appealing versus a documentary to younger generations. However South Park is comedy based. Therefore everyone should see The Cove. It is truly an eye opening uncensored look into the illegal slaughter of dolphins. Its just as alarming to see how corrupt the government is in trying to hide it.

  • Shelby S says:

    I think that portraying important information through cartoons about the murdering of dolphins and whales is a smart way to educate. More and more people are depending upon television to get the facts so by putting the information on South Park who puts a humorous spin on just about anything is a smart way to get people to notice. However to get the real facts everyone should watch The Cove. This documentary gives hard evidence of the illegal killings of dolphins and whales in Japan. Watching The Cove it gave me the most information about the situation and i’m now more aware about what is going on.

  • Janelle says:

    I think it was a good idea to show the public this issue through a cartoon because in today’s society everyone watches TV. So audiences who watch this cartoon also get a little education on this problem through the show. I would have understood the problem in the show but by watching The Cove I knew alot more about the situation.

  • Emily S says:

    I think it’s good that shows such as south park have some relevance to them besides so called ‘comedy’ but in order to better understand the seriousness this episode truly represents you must watch the cove becuase in Japan dolphins and whales are being slaughtered at unimaginable rates and not to mention in inhumane ways very similar to the way south park portrayed it. This isn’t really an issue to be taken lightly and laughed off

  • Casey says:

    I think that making the issue known to the public through a chartoon that is popular like this one is a good idea. The idea is that everyone learns about what is going on and then they make up their minds for themselves. The people are learning about issues around the world that they may not know about by just watching the t.v.

  • Mitchell Auchmuty says:

    None of you know what is actually going on in Japan with the killing of dolphin. Everyone needs to watch the movie called The Cove. In Japan fishermen round up and slaughter hundreds and even thousands of dolphins and other small whales each year. In the small fishing village of Taiji entire schools of dolphins are driven into a hidden cove after a prolonged chase. Once trapped inside the cove the fishermen kill the dolphins slashing their throats with knives or stabbing them with spears. The water turns red with their blood and the air fills with their screams. This is the largest scale dolphin massacre in the world and it goes from September to March. They kill the dolphins because the fishermen are saying that the dolphins are killing oceans fish and decreasing the fishing industry. The people of Japan need to know about the dolphin slaughter and the mercurypoisoned dolphin meat that is being fed to their children and everyone else in Japan. Japan is paying different countries to vote for them to continue to kill dolphins so that it wont be regulated by the IWC. If I hadnt watched The Cove I wouldnt know what the episode was talking about. I wouldve thought that it was just another South Park episode that makes fun of different topics across the world.

  • Daniel Walter says:

    This a grea idea on how to let people around the world know about what the Japanese is doing to whales and sharks. A lot more people are likely to watch this versus a documentary.

  • Byrun says:

    funny episode. my my my poker face. Wow how about combining the extreme western stupidity lady gaga with Japanese sensibilities and viola cultural differences now in perspective. POV

  • Tahler Thacker says:

    What South Park is still on the air? And some people still watch it? Wow.

  • Danny says:

    I think the Episode was brilliant. Im a meat eater but I do have a heart. I think thats what they were saying. Elphaba your an idiot. They don’t make fun of republicans because thats too easy. Same way The Daily show is easy on Obama. South Park stopped being relelevant years ago? Why is that its the only show that can write about whats going on now?! They make fun of everyone. Best episode in years!!

  • Kurt K says:

    Maverickk I tend to agree with what you stated except western societies at least the US aren’t typically socialists. We are capitalists! Amercians don’t tend to want socialism. Well at least the ones not in the current administration.

  • dom says:

    i love what sp do and i think generally they are fair objective but they missed the point at the end of this episode you shouldnt eat a whale for the same reason you shouldnt eat a tiger because they are endangered. cows and chickens are fine to eat because they arnt endangered. most sensible people have this stance in society so whats sp’s point here ??

  • Michelle says:

    I think their point is always to simply make people thinkthen make up their own minds. At least it is being addressed in popular culture in some way. Maybe the episode will cause a high schooler to look up Whale Wars or learn about the issues. For as serious SP can be I think they made a statement.

  • the.maverickk says:

    I don’t really think Matt Trey were saying that they disapprove of the whale hunt. It seems more like explaining that what seems like a travesty to one country is a way of life for another. Every country has animals they depend on economically and animals that they wish to protect. The truth is what gives one country the right to tell another country what they can and cannot do. Which is the impression I’m given more by the episode. Even if in the end Stan converts the Japanese to Americanized beliefs that doesn’t mean what he did was in the right. It’s a very western ideal to convert the rest of the world to our beliefs… whether it be by religion socialism activism and so forth. In the end it’s South Park and they are just poking fun and making social commentary. They are usually pretty neutral in terms of their belief and generally are bashing the extremists.

  • Kurt K says:

    SparkyGump South Park goes after the right wing just as much as the left. I haven’t watched as many episodes in the past few years but I do remember the episode where all the kids in South Park are getting checked for lice. The whole episode centers around a colony of lice on Clyde’s head. The one lice is telling people that the “planet” Clyde’s head is reacting to their destruction. Basically its a spoof on Global Warming and the only denier is teh VicePresident. That episode made fun of Cheney and the right wing.

  • Ryan says:

    In regard to whether SP is for or against animal rights the answer is not really. If you watch the commentary Matt and Trey basically say they think eating meat is fine. I understand how you can think this episode itself is proanimal rights but it’s not. It’s just an observation. Just because someone supports eating meat doesn’t mean he’s going to deny it’s typical of Americans to slaughter chickens and cows. It’s just an honest observation not a protest.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    The Japanese are extremely cruel to whales dolphins tuna sharks and all marine species.

  • SparkyGump says:

    South Park stopped being relelevant years ago. Trey Parker and Matt Stone use satire to advance their own agenda. They don’t go after “everybody”. They had the worst president in modern times and didn’t make fun of him until the end of his presidency. There are two things you won’t see on South Park critisizm of Isreal and the right wing.

  • Elphaba says:

    By the way Kurt I haven’t been on the blog as much lately but I can’t remember the last time I read one of your comments and thought it was just a politely worded dbag thing to say. It may be because I got to know you a little better or perhaps we both grew from what became a mostly constructive disagreement though I suspect a combination of the two. Regardless I wanted to let you know it’s noticed and very much appreciated!

  • Elphaba says:

    Indeed it is! I think it’s pretty cool that a show about direct action for animals is even on cable TV and toprated to boot so I catch it as often as I can to lend my support. I also know a lot of people who watch just to see all the seafaring mistakes the crew evidently makes lol but it all adds up to increased awareness about whaling. I actually do appreciate this episode very muchunflattering to the activists as it may be it still allows their position the moral high ground.

  • Kurt K says:

    Elphaba I’ll admit it I watch Whale Wars. The drama is so intense

  • Elphaba says:

    Good point Kurt. I do think regardless of your opinion of the Sea Shepherd the episode nicely pointed out our ethical inconsitencies i.e. save the cute whales and dolphins but to hell with other animals who feel just as deeply. They do seem to have quite a beef with Captain Paul but they also brought the issue to a much stronger viewership Whale Wars wouldn’t reach.

  • Kurt K says:

    You have to understand that Trey Parker and Matt Stone go after everybody. You just have to learn to live with it. I’m a Catholic. The Church has been a big tartget for South Park for years. When I watch those episodes I cringe. However Parker and Stone are so over the top that you alomst have to laugh. I think they just wanted to point out that Whale Wars whether you like it or not is still a TV show designed for ratings over the safety of whales. Producers tend to make everything dramatic. I think that is what Parker and Stone were trying to show.

  • Tim says:

    Uh yeah. That was the message they were trying to get across. It’s a satire. Did you really not get it?

  • Jacob says:

    I liked the way that episode ended. I personally was afraid it was going to devolve into Stan embracing whaling remember “Rainforest schmainforest?”. I don’t think that your retelling captures the sarcasm of the original statement though. Sometimes I’m not sure if South Park is for animal rights or against it. It seems like they go back and forth This episode promoted our cause “Douche and Turd” was made to make fun of us and “Fun with Veal” started out as being for us but then they showed us the ending which I feel might not be suitable for everyone in this comment section and now I see that ending being used all the time to make fun of vegetarians. Can anyone figure out what the show is really saying?

  • Dman says:

    I loved this episode!