Skip To Content
Film & TV

‘South Park’ delivers a strong satire of Kanye West’s antisemitism

The season 26 premiere pokes fun at Jews controlling Hollywood

South Park is known for being quick with the news cycle. When it came to Kanye West’s multi-month antisemitic meltdown, they had a bit more time.

Thursday’s season 26 premiere lampoons the rapper’s Twitter screeds and infamous appearance on InfoWars by having Eric Cartman serve as Ye’s mouthpiece. Or, more specifically, as the mouthpiece of the cherub over his shoulder, “Cupid Me,” who recently found Jesus and rebranded as “Cupid Ye.”

In an effort to break up Kyle Broflovski’s new friendship with Tolkien Black, Cartman spreads a rumor that Kyle controls Hollywood and, to try and make it personal for Tolkien, that Jews are imposters who stole Black identity.

Immediately these beliefs, delivered by the school’s most accomplished antisemite, scan as ludicrous and incoherent — but people still buy into them. Students start pitching their films to Kyle in the hallway. Randy pleads with Gerald, Kyle’s dad, to make the industry less “woke.” But the Black-Jewish friendship of Tolkien and Kyle proves pretty resilient.

It’s only when Cartman, under the influence of Cupid Ye, makes a TV appearance (dressed in the masked getup Ye wore to Alex Jones), that things begin to fray. As Cartman titters behind a hedge, a point is made: when Jewish people and Black people are pitted against each other, it’s the bigots who win.

A more trenchant note is also being sounded throughout, as Cartman says he is acting as a “good Christian” in promoting these libels. Matt Stone and Trey Parker aren’t afraid to suggest that Ye’s antisemitism and his Christian awakening may be linked — or even that some expressions of Nazism are rooted in Christianity.

“It’s the same thing! Christian message, Nazi message,” Cupid Ye says at one point, in a remark that is too much even for Cartman.

At the same time, the episode stresses that, of all the antisemitic tropes, control of Hollywood is a more benign strain. When Cupid Ye goes around Nazifying the school on Valentine’s Day, it manifests as a bunch of angry demands about movies directed at Kyle. (Tolkien demonstrates the trope’s relative triviality, balking at Kyle’s analogy that claiming Jews controlling Hollywood is like saying Black people control the NBA.)

While in the past Stone and Parker have countered antisemitism by validating its crazier claims in the reality of the show, famously giving Kyle “Jew Gold,” they are taking a more critical view this time around.

As the episode draws to a close with a familiar summary lesson, Kyle delivers a succinct history of the discrimination that prompted Jewish pioneering in entertainment, leading to a misguided impression of media dominance.

But, it’s still South Park. Don’t worry, there’s a joke in the credits. Unlike most things to emerge from the churn of antisemitic news, it had me in stitches.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.