Before season 21 aired in September, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker made it a point to not make Donald Trump the central theme to every episode. So far, they’ve been successful, however, in episode 4 “Franchise Prequel,” they directed their social commentary to one of the social media platforms that helped put Trump in the White House: Facebook. (They even got some shots in on Harvey Weinstein, too.)
As Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and friends try to devise ways to launch their new superhero film franchise “Coon & Friends,” the gang find that their Facebook page is under attack by their archnemesis, Professor Chaos, played by Butters. They find that Chaos, through an army of minions in an abandoned Circuit City, is peddling fake news stories about them. Chaos justifies this by saying they’re “doing what Facebook was designed to do.”
Cartman and company become so angered about the stories that they corner a kid in their neighborhood at his house about why he stopped following them on Instagram.
“Because you victimize innocent people and poop in little girls’ mouths,” the boy says.
“That’s not true,” Cartman retorts. “We’re Coon and Friends, not Harvey Weinstein.”
Meanwhile, the kids’ parents then invite Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to town to help their children decipher what is real and what is fake.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook has become a tool for some to disrupt our nation and our community,” Butters’ dad, Stephen, asks.
“You say these things like they are my fault yet they are not,” Zuckerberg responds.
“Well you did create a platform with a monetary incentive to spread misinformation,” Stephen rebuts.
What they expected was some moral clarity that gives them enough tools to teach their children how to use social media. Instead, they receive a robotic nuisance in Zuckerberg who acts like a villain in an old Kung Fu flick with a dubbed voice and is obsessed with the fact that no one can block him. He then starts invading peoples’ homes, eats their food, and sleeps in their bed to prove he can’t be blocked. This angers virtually everyone in the town and they try to bring in the police to stop him. South Park police chief ends up chiding everyone for inviting him in the first place.
“You all brought Mark Zuckerberg into your lives and now you want the police to shoot him,” the police chief says.
“Please, you don’t understand,” Stephen replies. “He’s such a penis.”
Cartman’s Coon and Friends finally confront Zuckerberg in the streets of South Park. After Zuckerberg beats them all down, Cartman accuses the Facebook CEO of standing in the way of social justice by beating up an African-American child, a handicapped child, and a Jewish child. He reveals to Zuckerberg that he caught the entire fight through his platform, Facebook Live, causing him to shut down the site entirely.
After Stephen finds out his son, Butters, was behind the fake news operation, he drags him all the way to the Kremlin in Moscow and scolds both his son and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Stephen gets his son to explain that he was just copying Putin and the Kremlin and that he “didn’t break any rules.” He then turns and yells at Putin, “Good job teaching our children that’s all that matters! Just because there’s a way to cause chaos in a town or disrupt an entire country doesn’t mean you and do it, does it? If Mark Zuckerberg points a loaded cannon in someone’s face, are you innocent for lighting the fuse?!”
Putin responds dejectedly, “No, sir.”
All in all, the episode hilariously addressed the argument over Facebook’s role in the 2016 election. And whether or not you believe the Russians meddled with our election, it’s still pretty phenomenal to watch Stephen Stotch talk to Putin as if he’s his son. He grounded him, too, by the way.
Watch the full episode below: