South Park’s dark humor has gotten them in trouble more than once or twice in its long running 20 seasons so far. Despite of this, South Park is generally well received and has garnered many accolades throughout the years. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always had the same vision for their show. Even as you watch only a few episodes, you get the idea that there’s an overall moral center at the heart of the show. They might deal with silly subjects for the most part, but it’s always for some deeper meaning. It isn’t always about kids being kids, which most of the time means getting in trouble. And they have gotten in trouble many times since the show’s inception, but they’ve kept on going and fans still keep on supporting. Still, the show has had to deal with just as many lawsuits also including the most recent one by singer Toni Basil.
The singer of famous 1982 song “Mickey” is suing over an episode following former president Barack Obama’s win in 2008. Toni Basil claims that the song’s lyrics were changed to reflect Obama’s name where “Mickey” usually goes. She’s not out for blood, but she is out for some redemption. Basil is demanding $750 from South Park, as well as from other companies that have supposedly used the song without permission. Basil’s lawyers claim that she’s very attached to her song. In fact, they claim that her identity and brand is closely intertwined with her song Mickey. Basil also states that companies have been misusing the songs for over 30 years now without permission from her or the proper channels.
While South Park may have to fork out the $750, there’s really no other harm done for their end. They’ll continue on with the release of their 21st season this month, as many fans are anticipating more from the cut out cartoon that’s given us many Kenny deaths, hilariously supernatural plots, and the voices of reason when we’re just feeling distorted.
Toni Basil, on the other hand, claims to have been suffering for 30 years. Sleep deprivations, anxiety, and nightmares are some of what she’s gone through and she believes it is all due to the misuse of her song. Basil states that these situations have left her physically ill and despondent. The one-hit wonder is quite the anthem from the 80s, and it isn’t unusual to hear it at random places and times. Many other companies are being sued with the same allegations including Disney, RuPaul’s Drag Race, retailer Forever 21, publishing company Razor & Tie, and Viacom among many others. The total amount in damages adds up to $25,000 for Basil.
Representatives from any of the companies mentioned above have yet to comment on the matter. This goes the same for South Park representatives. Although, we wouldn’t be surprised if we watch an episode about it sometime in the near future once everything has been resolved. For now, it seems as if we won’t be hearing much of the 80s anthem.