South Park Transgender Athletes Episode Controversy
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South Park Transgender Athletes Episode Controversy refers to the episode "Board Girls" of animated TV series South Park which touched the subject of transgender athletes competing against cisgender athletes in sports. Following the episode, users on social media questioned the episode, with several news outlets reporting that the episode mocked transgender athletes, sparking passionate debates over the way the issue was approached.
On November 13th, 2019, episode seven "Board Girls" of animated TV series "South Park" premiered. The episode introduced character Heather Swanson, a male-to-female transgender who started identifying as female two weeks prior. In the episode, Heather competes against character Strong Woman in a Strong Woman Competition, ultimately winning it, and continuously mocks Strong Woman about her loss and her unwillingness to respond throughout the episode. Additionally, the character PC Principal, Strong Woman's partner, gets criticized in the media after saying that Heather Swanson has an unfair advantage due to her going through her puberty as a male.
- Look, I know we're all afraid to have opinions on this stuff, but there can be situations when it's not so easy to… What I mean is…
- I didn't count on being the best since identifying as a woman.
- Yeah, no shit, because you went through your puberty as a male, so your body is completely different!
- And that's exactly what a transphobe would say!
In the following days, transgender world track cycling champion Rachel McKinnon and several other Twitter users made tweets questioning the episodes, with several users describing the episode as transphobic (examples shown below, top row), and with other users defending the episode and the show's creators (examples shown below, bottom row).
Multiple news outlets reported on the episode and the tweets accusing the show of transphobia, including articles by PinkNews, NewsHub, The Independent and Hollywood Reporter.
On November 16th, 2019, satire Facebook and Twitter account Journalist Excellence Worldwide posted a vote offering to choose whether South Park should be banned from television, labeling the "yes" and "no" options as "Ban South Park" and "I Am Transphobic" (post screenshots shown below). The vote received over 15,000 reactions and 9,900 shares on Facebook and over 290 retweets on Twitter, with the "no" option gaining over 90 percent of votes on both platforms.
In the following days, users on Reddit, Instagram and other platforms posted screenshots of the vote and made memes based on it. For example, a /r/therewasanattempt post by Redditor drewands received over 46,800 upvotes in one day. A I Love Democracy meme by Instagram user humanity.gone24 received over 6,500 votes in six hours.
 Wikipedia – South Park
 Twitter – @rachelvmckinnon's Tweet
 Twitter – @TerrifiedCass' Tweet
 Twitter – @n0chillchel's Tweet
 Twitter – @JennieGirl2469's Tweet
 Twitter – @Chocobo666's Tweet
 PinkNews – South Park sinks to new lows with jokes about trans athletes in latest episode
 NewsHub – ‘South Park’ tackles trans athletes in controversial episode
 The Independent – South Park creators accused of transphobia following latest episode
 Hollywood Reporter – 'South Park' Mocks Trans Athletes
 Facebook – Journalist Excellence Worldwide's Post
 Twitter – @JournalistEW's Tweet
 Reddit – To ban South Park
 Instagram – humanity.gone24's Post
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