South Park fans have voiced their concern after numerous recent episodes of the series went’missing’ from Paramount Plus.
The renowned American sitcom premiered in 1997 and has since startled the globe with its stories about the fictional titular little town in Colorado.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker created the series, which has a history of courting controversy by treating delicate topics with dark, filthy comedy.
Some South Park episodes have already been pulled from streaming platforms, and a few so-called ‘banned episodes’ are still unavailable for on-demand viewing.
On Thursday morning, fans of the series feared the worst when a few episodes from the show’s 23rd season, which aired in 2019, vanished from Paramount Plus.
Posting on Reddit, user Billy Lundie said: ‘I’ve noticed that quite a few more episodes have been removed from paramount. Half of season 23 is missing and a few more from various different seasons.’
Billy then asked: ‘What is the point of having South Park on there if they won’t let you watch every episode?’
Season 23 of South Park consists of ten episodes that aired between September and December five years ago, however not all of them are now online, according to user comments.
In response, another user, NoChampionship 4, theorised: ‘There’s more to it than that. They’ve probably hit a snag with licensing issues and what not.’
They continued: ‘I’m sure the goal is to have everything in one place eventually but it’s obviously not possible right now.’
In reply, Lundie argued, ‘There is quite a lot of episodes that’s have been removed recently and surely it’s not to do with licensing,’ before NoChampionship4 agreed that ‘bureaucratic garbage’ was likely to blame.
However, due to licencing rules, some episodes of South Park season 23 may only be available in certain countries.
This time last year, a feud broke out between Paramount Plus and Warner Bros. Discovery after the former was accused of ‘illegally holding onto fresh episodes’.
Five years ago, HBO Max (now named Max) and its parent company, Warner Bros., negotiated a licencing deal for $500 million (£418 million) for the streaming rights of the long-running animated series.
A February lawsuit alleged that Paramount violated their contract with Warner Bros. Discovery by posting South Park specials and associated content on their own network.
A court rejected parts of the claim in November 2023.
Some famous episodes of the show were really prohibited for being ‘too harmful for youngsters’, such as Super Best Friends from season 3, which included a representation of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Further episodes had additional portrayals of Muhammad, which resulted in their prohibition, while others, such as An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig, were restricted for less severe reasons.
Watch South Park on Paramount Plus and SkyGO.