Soul singer Isaac Hayes, who provides the voice for Chef on the television series South Park, has announced he is leaving the show in the wake of a controversial episode about the Church of Scientology.
Matt Stone, the series co-creator, said Hayes, a Scientologist, was leaving because of an episode about the church. Stone pointed out that the show had mocked just about every religion around.
The episode, described here, mocked famous Scientologist Tom Cruise and ridiculed those who share his beliefs. The final line of the episode had the character, Stan, saying: “I’m not scared of you. Sue me!”
In a statement announcing he was leaving the series, Hayes did not mention that specific episode.
“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs and others begins,” Hayes said in the statement.
A Google search on Isaac Hayes provides more information about Hayes’ opinion on Scientology. At a site titled WhatIsScientology.org, Hayes is quoted as saying:
“Scientology is the gateway to eternity. It is the path to happiness and total spiritual freedom. Until one has experienced the technology of Scientology it’s unlikely that one will ever experience these wonderful discoveries. I know because it has worked for me. The more time and effort I invest, the more I receive. I highly recommend it.”
The show’s co-creators said they would not block Hayes from leaving the popular series, which is starting its 10th season.