ISAAC'S WIDE SHUT
The news that Isaac Hayes has left South Park due to an episode that took the piss out of the ''church'' of ''scientology'' is indeed a shame.
Hayes' soul-brother-elder was a great foil to the white kids that are, after all, the basic instincts of SP creators Trey Stone and Scott Parker.
There are rumours the Paramount Comedy Channel, owned by the makers of Cruise's next blockbuster - had been leant on by Scientology sympathisers - and Cruise himself - because of an anti-Scientology episode.
The channel has cut the episode, though it says in honour of a Chef tribute, rather than censorship, and that it will be shown at a later date.
The episode itself sounds brilliant - with Stan being taken for the new Ron Hubbard by the religion's followers.
Let's face it, if religion is the opium of the people, then being into Scientology is a bit like being addicted to Tizer.
Rumours of a blacklist and Hayes's departure were enough for the creator duo to take out an advert in Variety arguing they would never stop their rampages against religion, and the more anyone leant on them, the worse they would behave.
They are notorious self publicists, but even they must have wondered whether they were hearing things straight when Hayes told them he was leaving because the show was inconsiderate to the hurt it might cause personal beliefs after the Cruise parody.
This is a show where Jesus once machine-gunned down Iraqis and Satan took one up the arse from Sadam Hussein.
He has been there for 15 series.
Hayes has let himself down, not because he had had enough at insulting people, that would be fair enough.
But he let himself down because he waited until he himself was insulted to pick his moment.
That has made him look nothing more than a sulky bully, who has just gone quiet because you've held up a mirror to face them.