South Park is known for its satire and for taking on PC situations and flipping them on their head, and they do that incredibly well, but sometimes, okay most of the time, they push it to the brink of no return.
That’s exactly what South Park did in a recent episode titled “You’re Not Yelping.” As the Inquisitr’s Daryl Deino put it, it was the “best episode ever,” but not everyone was happy with the episode that compared Yelp reviewers to ISIS, and that’s Yelp.
In the episode, South Park mocked Yelp reviewers claiming they have a holier than thou attitude about themselves. South Park addresses how much affect Yelp reviewers, who hide behind their screen, have over businesses by spewing their opinions in an online form.
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) October 21, 2015
The episode features characters, Gerald and Randy on line to wait to be seated at a fancy restaurant. When Gerald is told that it’s a 30-minute wait, he mentions that he’s a Yelp reviewer, and the party of two is seated right away. In another instance in the episode Cartman bullies an owner of a Mexican restaurant to give him a free dessert. He then tells the owner’s son that he gave the restaurant a bad review because his “poop” was solid after eating at the Mexican restaurant.
As one might imagine, Yelp was not happy with this representation of their company — even if it was a parody. To Yelp this is no laughing matter. According to NBC, the San Francisco based company is suing South Park and Comedy central for an estimated $10 million dollars. The company is suing over damages.
Paul Horner, a representative for Yelp, told NBC of Yelp’s stance on the pending lawsuit.
“Our company, along with its millions of users, take Yelp very seriously. The South Park episode was in extremely bad taste and not funny whatsoever. To say our critics are out there trying to get free food and using racist slurs on little Mexican children is beyond ridiculous. To compare the users of Yelp to terrorists is not only cruel, but the definition of libel and slander. I believe any reasonable court in America will agree with the lawsuit and rule in our favor.”
— Motherboard (@motherboard) October 21, 2015
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker took their signature style of comedy in response to the lawsuit. The sarcasm practically dripped off of their statement about Yelp’s lawsuit, while mocking their sense of professionalism in the way they presented their suit.
“We’ve taken a hard look at the information presented to us, and after reviewing it, we have given Yelp and their lawsuit only one star. Their lawyers delivered us legal documents in a very unprofessional manner; not bothering to smile or even a quick handshake. The writing on the envelope was barely legible and in two different colors. It is our personal opinion that Yelp could do a much better job by not suing us for ten million dollars.”
Although South Park’s parody went way too far in the eyes of Yelp, the company does have problems with small businesses based on some users reviews. The etiquette of giving someone a negative review on Yelp has become a sport of sorts. Business Week states that Yelp’s business practices do come into question in regards to the legitimacy of the reviews. It was also stated that Yelp “manipulates” and “blocks” reviews to increase their ad revenue. There’s also some major concerns about the privacy of said Yelp reviewers.
Do you think Yelp has the right to sue South Park?
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]