Last Wednesday, South Park kicked off it’s 14th season with one of the most controversial episodes they’ve had in years. The episode took aim at the recent spree of “sex-addicted” celebrities, including David Duchovny, David Letterman, Charlie Sheen, and most famously, Tiger Woods. The opening of the show’s 196th episode featured a retelling of the Tiger Woods scandal that came to our attention back on Thanksgiving of 2009. After finding dirty text messages on Tiger’s phone, a cartoon version of his wife, Elin Nordegren, chases him through the house and down the street with a gold club. As the camera pulls back, it’s revealed that Cartman and Kenny are playing the new version of Tiger Wood’s PGA Tour for Xbox. The show features various other references to the new version of this popular game, including showing Tiger and Elin fighting on the golf course, and the kid’s unlocking special features such as the “Prenup Powerup.”
The real PGA Tour games are developed and published by gaming giant, Electronic Arts, and are some of the most popular sports games on the market. The game has had 13 yearly iterations, dating back to 1998, and are known for their impressive realism when it comes to the sport. Apparently, EA doesn’t take kindly to this recent episode, as a source has reported to the Daily Informerthat the company is currently drawing up plans for a legal battle against South Park and it’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. According to the unnamed source, “soon after the airing of the episode, the top beef were calling in, even Peter Moore[the head of EA’s sports division] was informed of the situation.” The source also mentions that while the episode may be funny, there are a number of copyright infringements that could warrant a lawsuit.
What I would like to see are the chances of a lawsuit had South Park ran an episode about Tiger Wood’s having the greatest golf game of all time, and how awesome they thought it was. I bet there wouldn’t be an issue with copyright infringement then. The issue here is not copyright, the issue is EA thinking this episode hurts them in some way. They found it insulting, so they brought in the lawyers to see if there was anything they could do. The only problem is that South Park is well-versed when it comes to issues like this. I’m sure they have lawyers who specialize in nothing but issues like these. And I’m sure that nothing is going to come from it. And finally, I’m sure the only thing that’s going to hurt the sales of the next PGA Tour Game is the fact that their cover boy slept with dozens of women and has been put in a very negative light over the past four months. It sounds like EA is just looking to place the blame on whatever they can, and they’re using South Park as a scapegoat for a problem they’re foreseeing down the road.