Bloody Mary (South Park)

Bloody Mary (South Park)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Bloody Mary
Series = South Park

Caption = Randy is "Cured"
Season = 9
Episode = 139
Airdate = December 7, 2005
Production =
Writer = Trey Parker
Director = Trey Parker
Guests =
Episode list = List of "South Park" episodes
Season list = Infobox South Park season 9 episode list
Prev =
Next =

"Bloody Mary" is episode 914 of the Comedy Central series "South Park." It originally aired on December 7, 2005. In the audio commentary, Trey Parker admits to somewhat regretting making this episode even more than "Trapped in the Closet", due to the excessive controversy the episode made involving the Roman Catholic religion.


Kyle, Cartman, Stan and Ike attend karate class while Stan's dad goes for a couple of drinks. After class, an inebriated Randy drives the boys home, but he gets pulled over and arrested for drunk driving. Randy gets his license revoked and is ordered to perform community service and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, where he is taught that he is powerless to control his drinking and that alcoholism is a disease. It also calls for him to surrender himself to a "Higher Power" in order to get better. Randy, whom Stan describes as a "hypochondriac," then ironically begins to drink more, since he has decided that he is in fact powerless to control it and cannot stop. Around this time, a statue of the Virgin Mary begins to bleed—out of its anus—and people begin to flock around it to find a cure for their diseases. Randy believes it can heal him of his disease.

Randy has Stan drive him to the church where the statue is, and—after cutting in line, arguing that his "disease" is worse than that of others—he is drenched in the holy blood. He jumps up and declares that he will not drink anymore (ostensibly because the bleeding statue is his "Higher Power"), and abstains from alcohol for five days.

The new Pope Benedict XVI comes to investigate, and discovers that the blood is not actually coming from the statue's anus, but its vagina. Since "chicks bleed out their vaginas all the time," this is no miracle, and Randy, realizing this, suddenly realizes God did not heal him. He at first declares himself powerless again, and all the other recovering alcoholics follow suit and rush to the bar. Stan then makes him realize that if God did not help him, he must have done it himself. Randy then declares that he will never drink again, but Stan objects to this too, saying that if Randy completely avoids drinking, drinking is still controlling his life, and that true discipline is figuring out how to live in moderation. The two then walk home, with the two discussing how much drinking would be proper.


The episode was aired on December 7, 2005, which is the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic observance related specifically to the Virgin Mary. The Catholic League demanded an apology and that the episode "be permanently retired and not be made available on DVD" and that Joseph A. Califano, Jr., a board member of Viacom (the parent of Comedy Central) and a practicing Catholic, issue a personal statement. [cite press release|title=Virgin Mary defiled on "South Park"| publisher=Catholic League (U.S.)| date=2005-12-08| url=| accessdate =2006-07-06] Califano did later release a statement calling the episode an "appalling and disgusting portrayal of the Virgin Mary," and pledged to have it reviewed by Viacom's president and CEO, Tom Freston. Bishop William Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a letter to Freston saying the network showed "extreme insensitivity" when it aired the episode. [cite news|url=|title=Bishops' president blasts "South Park" episode|date=2005-12-21|publisher=Church Resources|accessdate=2006-07-06] When Comedy Central re-aired the episodes on December 28, 2005, "Bloody Mary" was absent from the broadcast. Comedy Central responded to e-mail inquiries about the fate of the episode with the assurance that "Bloody Mary" has not been retired and would not be pulled from the DVD release. [cite news|url=|title=South Park "Bloody Mary" an immaculate deletion, says Comedy Central |date=2006-01-09|publisher=BoingBoing|accessdate=2006-07-06] Screen captures from the episode on Comedy Central's press site and the South Park section of are absent. [cite news|url=,1,18055,00.html?tnews|title="South Park" Parked by Complaints?|date=2005-12-29|author=Sarah Hall|publisher=E!|accessdate=2006-07-06]

In February 2006, leaders from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference, the Council of Christians and Muslims, and other religious groups together lobbied media conglomerate CanWest to stop a planned airing of the episode in New Zealand on the music channel C4. The network rejected the plea and said the episode would air as planned. [cite news|url=,2106,3570043a1869,00.html|title=South Park controversy continues|date=2006-02-13|author=Kristian South|publisher=Sunday News|accessdate=2006-07-06] [cite news|url=|title=TV chief rejects bishops' boycott call over 'tasteless' cartoon|date=2006-02-20|author=Martin Johnston|coauthors=Errol Kiong|publisher=The New Zealand Herald|accessdate=2006-07-06] Leading Catholic bishops then called for a boycott of C4 and its sister network TV3. CanWest again resisted and aired the episode sooner than planned to take advantage of the media attention. New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark issued a statement saying the episode sounded "revolting," but that the network was free to air it. One advertiser withdrew his ads from CanWest's networks. Catholic group Family Life International set up a website for boycotting CanWest's other advertisers. [cite news|url=|title=Catholics urge South Park boycott|date=2006-02-21|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2006-07-06] [cite news|url=|title=Church outrage as cartoon to air tonight|date=2006-02-22|author=Errol Kiong|coauthors=Martin Johnston|publisher=The New Zealand Herald|accessdate=2006-07-06] Another company named C4 Productions, which has no links to the C4 music channel, applied for a court order on the eve of the airing to stop the episode citing damage to its business because it thought people would link it to the channel. The judge ruled against the order. [cite news|url=,2106,3581315a10,00.html|title=Protests fail to stop Mary show|date=2006-02-23|publisher=The Dominion Post|accessdate=2006-07-06|author=Rebecca Palmer] C4 aired the episode on February 22, 2006 and drew 210,000 viewers, six times South Park's normal audience for the channel. [cite news|url=,2106,3582068a1860,00.html|title=Bloody Mary show attracts six times usual audience|date=2006-02-23|publisher=NZPA|accessdate=2006-07-06] After receiving 102 formal complaints from viewers, the network issued a statement a month later saying "…C4 acknowledges the strength of feeling in relation to the programme, and we sincerely apologize for any offence taken." [cite news|url=,2106,3613840a11,00.html|title=Apology over 'Bloody Mary' programme|date=2006-03-24|publisher=The Dominion Post|accessdate=2006-07-06|author=Rebecca Palmer]

In June 2006 complaints received by New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) were rejected: The airing of the show was found to not be in breach of broadcasting standards. According to the BSA, " [b] ut showing disrespect does not amount to the sort of vicious or vitriolic attack normally associated with the denigration standard." They also said the episode was "of such a farcical, absurd and unrealistic nature that it did not breach standards of good taste and decency in the context in which it was offered". [cite press release|title=BSA Releases "South Park" Decision| publisher=Broadcast Standards Authority| date=2006-06-30| url=| accessdate =2006-07-06] New Zealand Catholic bishops have decided to appeal the decision. [cite news|url=|title=Catholic bishops to appeal South Park decision|date=2006-07-12|accessdate=2006-07-12]

In February 2006, Archbishop Denis Hart in Melbourne, Australia wrote to television network SBS asking them not to air the episode. The network's programming director originally rejected the request, but later decided to postpone the episode citing the controversy over the "Jyllands-Posten" Muhammad cartoons. [cite news|url=|title=Muslim cartoon controversy prompts SBS reversal on "South Park"|date=2006-02-16|publisher=Church Resources|accessdate=2006-07-06] . Instead, SBS ended up showing "Christian Rock Hard".Fact|date=February 2007 and decided to show the previous episode mentioned in late 2006, before screening starts of Season 10. The episode was, however shown on The Comedy Channel, on August 30th 2006. one reason for this was that they could advertise that they had shown an Australian premiere South Park before SBS did.

On March 14, 2006, Rob Corddry, reporting on Comedy Central's own "The Daily Show" said:

:…Christianity has evolved and matured. No longer do they stone people to death for blasphemy. Now they write a lot of letters to advertisers. Even a secular, atheistic, morally bankrupt entity like Comedy Central can be affected. Just ask Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of "South Park", whose recent episode entitled "Bloody Mary" was pulled after a single airing. Now obviously [we at] Comedy Central can't show you that offensive material… [cite web|url=|title=This Week In God - Blasphemy Edition|date=2006-03-14|publisher=Comedy Central|accessdate=2008-07-09]

The "South Park" clips shown while Corddry spoke included plenty of offensive material (fornicating cats, a man vomiting and then falling in his own vomit, Butters viewing two men having sex, etc.) but there was nothing from the "Bloody Mary" episode.

Like the Trapped in the Closet episode, Bloody Mary did return to the air on August 2, 2006 at 10 P.M.


External links

* [ First discovery of episode being pulled]

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