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October 9, 2015

Just what does Apple's iPhone app department NOT find offensive?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 6th 2009 1:02PM
I know I've been asking this question a lot, but what the hell is going on here? Have we entered the bizarro world? Is up now down? Has black become white? Did Dr. Sanja Gupta accept Barack Obama's offer to be the next U.S. surgeon general after Dr. Pepper turned him down?

Last week, we reported on Apple's refusal to include a new South Park iPhone app. The white hot anger could be felt from coast to coast. We here at TV Squad were worried that the uproar it could have caused could have landed us in "Enemy Combatant Land" for disturbing the peace and inciting a riot, which technically would be Apple's fault.

Then an interesting little story popped into my view that seemed to contradict the claims Apple had made and as always, television helped show me the way.

Last week's Real Time with Bill Maher ended its show with a diatribe on American laziness and lack of focus by reporting on a legal tug-of-war between the makers of Pull My Finger and the iFart, two apps approved for use on the iPhone. The makers of the iFart asked a judge to allow them the right to use the phrase "Pull my finger" on their product without risking trademark infringement. The makers of Pull My Finger called (I wish to God I was making this up) Air-O-Matic claim the iFart, created by InfoMedia, violated their copyright by using the phrase on the program and in their press releases. Throughout this whole ordeal, the judge was probably telling himself, "I'm not even supposed to be here today."

The weird thing is that both applications got the greenlight to appear on the iPhone. Pull My Finger actually submitted their product twice before Apple waved it on through, or should that be "wafted it on through"?

It's not that farts aren't funny. As any human being with a hint of personality will tell you, farts are hee-larious. But if you're paying for something to amuse yourself and your friends that your natural process of digestion can do for free, then you need to go back to school so you can retake that economics class.

So why did South Park's iPhone app get the red flag when these two apps got a pass? (Insert your own Beavis and Butt-head laugh here.) In South Park's case, the app was rejected twice because of "potentially offensive" content without offering much more of an explanation for their decision. If someone truly found such images offensive, they could just not download the app. When did my parents hire Apple to be my babysitter?

South Park, with the exception of the first few seasons, has become the smartest and sharpest satirical show in recent memory. Some of the images that appear on South Park can cross a line or two, but they are almost always in the name of exploring some dark issue and finding the greater good. On the other hand, the only greater good that is accomplished by a farting cell phone is that it immediately displays the intellectual well-being of the person who owns it, in addition to the fact that they actually purchased an iPhone.

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I got the same sort of "hey...what?" reaction when I saw that bit on Bill Maher's New Rules segment too. I'm betting someone on the iPhone app approval board just doesn't like SP.

Nice Clerks reference, btw.

March 06 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Provided the South Park app has the same brand of humor as the show (i.e., the same degree of crass, rude, and/or obscene material) there's no reason to ban the app. Afterall, iTunes makes episodes of South Park available for download.

I also would add that in all likelyhood only those with an interest in the show would have an interest in purchasing the app and those purchasers know exactly what they are getting.

March 06 2009 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

South Park's one of the most intelligent shows on the box and Apple are losing a ton of my respect with their illogical decision.

March 06 2009 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rex from Ars

It's "Dr Pepper", not "Dr. Pepper".

March 06 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There's literally a riot of laughs occurring somewhere? Point me in its direction.

March 06 2009 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

Apple's app approval guidelines shift from week to week, and it is literally a laugh riot watching Apple apologists try to defend it.

March 06 2009 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joey Geraci's comment

Really? There are literal riots?

I won't be meaner cause you have a cool name ("It is...perfection")

March 06 2009 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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