A Crude Cartoon Decides Fat Jokes Are Too Offensive

South Park, The End of ObesityProgress comes in surprising ways. Proving this point, we now have a crude cartoon – South Park – telling the world that fat jokes are too offensive and stupid to be funny. One of the primary characters, Kyle, delivers this new enlightenment in a speech to his school cafeteria:

“I was wrong. I used to think that fat people just needed more willpower. But now I’ve seen what it’s like to have willpower not be enough. We’ve got sugar companies, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies all just trying to figure out how to make money off of our f–king health. How can anybody have willpower when all these forces are manipulating us everyday? It’s impossible. And I’ve learned one very important thing. It isn’t fair to put the blame on anyone for their weight.

“We’re not going to be critical of anyone over their weight ever again.”

Fighting a Broken System

Very much to our surprise, the humor in this cartoon is directed at everyone except the fat characters. They mock wealthy, privileged people misusing serious medicines. One of the best lines from the show is a sharp observation about inequities in obesity care:

“Rich people get Ozempic. Poor people get body positivity.”

Riffing on this theme, South Park offers up a parody for pharmaceutical advertising on TV – twisted into an ad for Lizzo:

“Makes you feel good about your weight, and it costs 90% less than Ozempic. In case studies, 70% of patients on Lizzo no longer cared how much they weighed.”

Lizzo seemed to enjoy the attention, saying “I really showed the world how to love yourself.”

There’s more. Issues of ridiculous insurance hurdles, inadequate supply, and sketchy compounded semaglutide are all targets for parody in the course of this show. The result is a surprisingly sophisticated satire of how poorly our business and health systems are coping with the challenge of obesity – garnished with a pledge for no more offensive fat jokes.

Never in a million years would we have expected this from South Park.

For more on this satirical romp, click here, here, and here. If you want to watch it, head to Paramount Plus (free trials are an option).

South Park, The End of Obesity, promotional post on X.com

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May 29, 2024