Satirical animated TV show "South Park" beeped out the words Prophet Muhammad and plastered its Wednesday episode with the word "CENSORED" after being issued a grim warning by a U.S. Muslim group.
The irreverent comedy show on Comedy Central also substituted a controversial image seen last week of the Prophet Muhammad in a bear outfit with one of Santa Claus in the same costume.
It was not immediately clear if the move was a bid to tread carefully following the warning against the "South Park" creators, or if they were poking fun at the fuss.
The little-known group RevolutionMuslim.com posted a message on its website earlier this week warning creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker "that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show."
The website posted a graphic photo of Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant over a movie he had made that accused Islam of condoning violence against women. It also posted a link to a news article with details of a mansion in Colorado that Parker and Stone apparently own.
***UPDATE***A Statement from Matt and Trey:In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it.