Midweek Cuckoo: Isaac Hayes
There was a time when Isaac Hayes was cool. The man had soul, he could play a mean sax, and best of all he was the voice of the saltiest chef on tv. But this week, Isaac has proven that not only is he nuts, he’s a hypocrite to boot.
Isaac has quit South Park, walking out on his contract in protest of the episode aired last november that poked fun at Scientology. Isaac, you see, is a scientologist. And scientologists don’t take well to being mocked. Granted, they take it better than certain sects of certain religions who have offered a million dollars for the heads of certain cartoonists, but their reactions are still a little overboard for a supposed religion.
I’ve spoken at length about scientology before – about their beliefs (so much space opera even gene roddenberry would blush), about their itchy trigger finger on the sue-gun (and look, scientomogy is still standing), and about their fake personality tests used to lure potential cultists. So the scene is set – we all knew that when South Park finally took on the subject in their usual no-holds-barred style, there would be action. But i never thought that it would result in Chef quitting. I mean, Isaac Hayes can’t be mad at Trey Parker and Matt Stone for taking a dig at Scientology, when he’s happily participated in shows that mock Christians, Mormons, Muslims and Jews, right? That would be hypocritical.
Yes, indeed it would. Isaac appears to have caught self-righteousness overnight. In his own words:
“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.
“Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored,” he continued. “As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”
Really, Isaac? Isn’t it interesting then that according to Matt Stone,
“He has no problem — and he’s cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians.”
In fact, he very obviously didn’t mind poking fun at Muslims either, in the episode Chef Goes Nanners, where Chef converts to Islam and renounces his slave name, changing his name to Abdul Mohammed Jabbar-Rauf Kareem Ali. This was a very obvious rip off of people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mohammed Ali who did the same. Later in the episode he renounces Islam. So really, he had absolutely no problem belittling not only conversion to Islam, but also the tendency of African Americans to see it as their true faith, taken from them by slavery. But mess with scientology and suddenly he’s throwing his toys out the cot and behaving like a little girl.
Interestingly, the Scientology episode seems to be the only one that certain networks have declined to air, in fear of being sued. Showtime also declined to air an episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! that dealt with Scientology, also in fear of being sued. Isn’t it strange that you can make fun of every other religion on the planet, except for Scientologists who will sue you, and certain sects of Islam that will kill you. Then again, there have been rumours of scientology declaring certain undesirables ‘fair game’, and said persons disappearing without a trace. We shall see.
Anyway, you can file Isaac Hayes under ‘Hypocrite’ for now, with a cross-reference to ‘Batshit Crazy’.