By now, you’ve probably read about, or even seen, the newest episode of South Park, which takes aim at Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm.
Strong language warning ahead!
South Park, the no-holds-barred, top-rated animated comedy from creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, has been pushing the envelope since 1997. No one, and we mean no one, is safe from ridicule or poor representation in South Park, which builds its recent success of poking fun at celebrities, politicians, and hot-button social issues of the past and present.
“South Park” Goes to War with Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger
The newest episode of South Park sets its sights on Disney’s reported efforts at diverse casting, throwing in a few jabs at Kathleen Kennedy along the way. Kennedy, who’s been at the helm of Lucasfilm for years now, is loved by many and hated by even more who ultimately hold her responsible for what fans consider to be “poor Star Wars” products since her coronation.
Parker and Stone, not afraid to take on some of the biggest names in entertainment and fueled by fan perception of Disney’s “woke” agenda, skewered both Kennedy and Disney CEO Bob Iger in their latest episode.
Titled “Joining the Panderverse,” according to Vanity Fair, “the episode details Eric Cartman’s worst nightmare—that he’ll be replaced by a woman of color. When Eric wakes from the bad dream, he declares, They were taking all my favorite people and replacing them with diverse women complaining about the patriarchy!” later adding, “And the Disney stock just keeps going down and down!“
Disney Leadership Is a Massive Target
Disney executives, such as Kathleen Kennedy and Bob Iger, have been easy targets for satirical show writers for a long time now. As the world’s culture, primarily in the United States, continues to shift dramatically, Disney, maybe more than any other large corporation in the world, has pandered to new audiences, making decisions that some find to be too progressive or radical, ultimately leading to low box office scores for their latest films like The Little Mermaid (2023).
Kathleen Kennedy, an Academy Award winner, has been a big part of that story on the Star Wars side of things at Disney. Kennedy, who’s responsible for abysmal failures such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), has been at the forefront of thought from Star Wars fans when they consider the current state of Lucasfilm and the “woke” productions that many feel are being force-fed to their audience.
Not one to miss an opportunity to capitalize on the voice of unpopular opinions of the public, South Park has now immortalized what many think is wrong with the thinking of Disney executives like Kennedy and Bob Iger. The young kids from Colorado have a knack for keeping their pulse on the perpetual nerve endings of the entertainment elite after all, so as executives like Iger and Kennedy continue their march towards forced inclusion and diversity (which isn’t the actual issue), they’re the perfect source material for what some feel like is Parker and Stone’s best work yet.
Disney Culture Wars: Kathleen Kennedy versus Gina Carano
Long before Kenny McCormick, Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, and Kyle Broflovski took aim at Kathleen Kennedy on Comedy Central’s South Park, Kennedy had already found herself in a war with actress Gina Carano, most famous for her role as Cara Dune in the first season of The Mandalorian on Disney+.
Carano was fired from her role as Cara Dune after the first season of the extremely popular Star Wars addition after posting Tweets that some felt were too controversial to continue her employment with Lucasfilm. During a time of heightened tension, and as a loud supporter of then President Donald Trump, Carano compared being a Republican to that of being a Jewish citizen during the Holocaust.
Disney, who acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, has made a name for itself in recent years as a very progressive company, and remarks comparing the atrocities committed during WWII to political party affiliation were obviously deemed unfit, ultimately leading to her exit from Lucasfilm in between season one and season two of The Mandalorian.
Post South Park Backlash
It’s well-known that South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have no qualms with touching sensitive subjects. In fact, they’ve made a career out of creating characters and storylines that purposefully create a rise out of the audience to incite publicity and demand. The strategy has worked for them for a long time, with controversial subject matter related to sexual identity in Mr. Garrison (the kids’ teacher), overkill in political correctness, and even streaming wars.
Parker and Stone are not afraid to leave any rock untouched regarding feelings. Famous names like Michael Jackson, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and Caitlyn Jenner have all been targets of the satire show, which is now in its 26th season. As many feel that Disney executives have become obsessed with forcing progressive ideology on its audience, even some posting videos of meetings discussing topics such as gender identity representation within their products, it was only a matter of time until South Park went for the jugular.
The backlash after the premiere of “Joining the Pandaverse” hasn’t necessarily gone as one might assume. Although there are plenty out there upset over South Park’s antics regarding Disney and their assumed agenda regarding pushing race and gender fluidity in their media, many are praising the efforts of the Comedy Central hit-show in not shying away from what can be considered a misuse of influence and power by Disney.
Carano is Back From the Dead
Now that you’re all caught up regarding what’s going on with South Park and Disney, specifically Kathleen Kennedy, let’s bring Gina Carano back into the fold. As reactions to the season 26 episode of South Park spread like wildfire across the internet, new information regarding Kennedy and Lucasfilm has potentially come to light, and some of it is damning, to say the least.
Carano wasted no time in reacting to South Park’s assault on Disney and Kennedy, writing,
“This is the part where KK demands any YouTubers get censored off of YouTube for sharing and laughing at this hilarious episode, she’ll have YouTube disable the thumbs down option because of the ratio she’ll receive, then she’ll have her publicist ghouls make sure Variety and Hollywood Reporter run hit pieces about the South Park creators and their families smearing their names through every useful idiot she has under her thumb who would sell their soul to work for Lucas film.“
“She’ll activate her online mob to repeat that the South Park creators are racist, bigot, transphobes, and demand the South Park creators publicly apologize by only using words she approves of. And finally, she’ll demand they subject themselves to a re-education course of 45 people in the LGBTQ community Zoom call to sit there and listen of how badly they got their feelings hurt all over a little boop of a South Park episode.“
This is the part where KK demands any YouTubers get censored off of YouTube for sharing and laughing at this hilarious episode, she’ll have YouTube disable the thumbs down option because of the ratio she’ll receive, then she’ll have her publicist ghouls make sure Variety and… https://t.co/CMgASHQBgz
— Gina Carano 🕯 (@ginacarano) October 28, 2023
In a following post, Carano claims that she was asked to unfollow others who had said “bad things” about her then-boss at Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy. Following the post, YouTuber DrunkC3PO provided their take on what was to come for Lucasfilm’s story group and Kathleen Kennedy:
“The day is coming. The day is coming and I know the day is coming where there is a lot of emails, there is a lot of notes that someone has collected. And when you see this, it will blow your face off as to how disgusting this woman is, Kathleen Kennedy, and the people that are running Lucasfilm, especially over there at the storyboard group. Again, there’s something, there’s a nuclear bomb that’s coming and just be ready. All of our YouTube channels will benefit once this stuff hits.“
Obviously, the information mentioned by DrunkC3PO is rooted in an unconfirmed rumor, as none of the supposed emails have been produced or verified at the moment. However, there’s still serious consideration regarding Kathleen Kennedy and claims made by a scorned Gina Carano regarding the work environment at Lucasfilm, and maybe South Park was the spark needed to set it all ablaze.
Should South Park and Carano Be Worried?
Of course this isn’t the first time Carano has gone after Kennedy and Disney. After her “letting go,” the former MMA fighter was very outspoken to mixed reviews among fans. Her warnings regarding Kathleen Kennedy’s strategy to go after the families of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone has been labeled as “cancel culture fear-mongering.” In reality, South Park has been poking fun at Disney and Disney-owned products for a long time. Bob Iger, Kathleen Kennedy, and even Mickey Mouse aren’t untouchable for the Comedy Central show.
In season 24, South Park premiered a very controversial debut in “The Pandemic Special,” in which Randy Marsh, another popular character, in cahoots with Mickey Mouse accidentally cause the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, the same character can be seen in a different segment murdering Winnie the Pooh. South Park has had a “no gloves” approach to making fun of Disney, including not backing down from their PC and “woke” views. So, it would seem that if there’s something to worry about, Park and Stone should’ve been concerned a long time ago.
So, what do you think? Did South Park go to far? Could Carano be right about Kennedy?
All views within this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the actual stance of Disney Dining.