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"With Apologies to Jesse Jackson"
South Park episode
Randy Marsh on Wheel of Fortune trying to solve the final puzzle.
Episode no. Season 11
Episode 1
Written by Trey Parker
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 1101
Original airdate March 7, 2007
Season 11 episodes
South Park – Season 11
March 7, 2007 – November 14, 2007
  1. With Apologies to Jesse Jackson
  2. Cartman Sucks
  3. Lice Capades
  4. The Snuke
  5. Fantastic Easter Special
  6. D-Yikes!
  7. Night of the Living Homeless
  8. Le Petit Tourette
  9. More Crap
  10. Imaginationland Episode I
  11. Imaginationland Episode II
  12. Imaginationland Episode III
  13. Guitar Queer-O
  14. The List

Season 10 Season 12
List of South Park episodes

"With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" is episode 1101 (#154) of Comedy Central's animated comedy series South Park and the premiere of the show's 11th season. The episode premiered on March 7, 2007. The episode is rated TV-MA.

Incidents referenced include the Laugh Factory incident in Los Angeles, in which comedian Michael Richards angrily shouted racial slurs at a black audience member who was making some noise entering the venue.



Randy Marsh appears on Wheel of Fortune and is presented with a bonus round puzzle whose category is "People Who Annoy You". Randy is given the letters: R, T, S, L, and E. He adds the letters: B, N, G, and O leaving the puzzle to spell: N_GGERS. With five seconds to go he reluctantly answers "niggers" on live national television, shocking his family, friends and millions of viewers worldwide. The correct answer is, of course, "naggers", and everything stops in shock until the buzzer sounds and Randy loses.

The next day, Cartman warns a thoroughly humiliated Stan that Token will be mad at him, so Stan attempts to defend his father. Token tells Stan he doesn't understand how black people feel about that word. Despite Cartman's attempts to escalate the incident into a "race war", Token refuses to fight. Yet that doesn't stop Cartman from taking that as a sign of defeat and announce "Whites Win!".

Randy attempts to rectify his mistake by officially apologizing to Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson only accepts after getting a picture of Randy kissing his buttocks, which is published in several newspapers. Stan thinks everything is okay now, but Token states that "Jesse Jackson is not the emperor of black people!" (despite Jackson apparently telling Randy that he was). Meanwhile, Randy goes to a comedy club where the black comedian recognizes and points Randy out while jokingly calling him "the nigger guy", which soon catches on as Randy's new epithet.

Back at school, a dwarf by the name of Dr. David Nelson (voiced by Trey Parker after inhaling helium) is called in to give a presentation on sensitivity. He insists "Words are like bullets. They go through me." As soon as Cartman sees him he begins to laugh, disrupting the assembly so Dr. Nelson cannot speak. Dr. Nelson decides to go against his standards and get revenge by making the other kids mock Cartman's weight problem; however, he is frustrated as Cartman continues to laugh uncontrollably at him.

Michael Richards and Randy Marsh having a conversation about their individual experiences of saying "nigger" on national TV and its implications in American society.

Randy continues trying to redeem himself by founding a scholarship for blacks. However, he is soon accosted by a gang of socially progressive rednecks, who hunt the "nigger guy". They criticize him for "slandering an entire race on national television" and say "We don't take kindly to social ignorance." A group of other "nigger guys", including Michael Richards and Mark Fuhrman, scare the rednecks away and invite Randy to join their organization of people who have become pariahs for the use of the word nigger. They successfully lobby Congress to pass a law saying at least seven words must always separate the words nigger and guy.

Cartman and Dr. Nelson wrestle, and Cartman forces Dr. Nelson to submit by saying "uncle" and "Carol Anne, don't go into the light!" despite being beaten, Dr. Nelson claims victory and to have proved his point. Stan and Kyle say that they have no idea what Dr. Nelson's point was, but then Stan concludes that not knowing the point is the point. He explains to Token that, as a white person, he will never understand why Token is so upset by the word, and why it can make black people mad when a white person says it in any context. Token is finally satisfied that Stan gets that he doesn't get it, thus creating an understanding between them.

Reception and controversy

This episode had news broadcasts on the CNN programs Showbiz Tonight and Paula Zahn Now[1] in the days following the broadcast of this episode. Kovon and Jill Flowers, who co-founded the organization Abolish the "N" Word, which is linked with the NAACP, praised this episode, saying it was a good example of how it felt to be called nigger.

This show, in its own comedic way, is helping people to educate the power of this word, and how it can feel to have hate language directed at you.
— Kovon and Jill Flowers

However, a previous episode titled The Death Camp of Tolerance used the word "nigger" once along with other racist terms in the eponymous scene.

Parents Television Council founder L. Brent Bozell claimed that there was a lack of protest against this episode compared to radio host Don Imus's comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, even challenging Flowers' comments that the episode's use of nigger was not intended to be racist, but in fact the theme of the episode was to argue against those who support civility.[2] The PTC named this episode, along with the episode of The Sarah Silverman Program that aired right after this episode, the "Worst Cable Content of the Week" in its campaign for cable choice.[3] The episode received about 2.8 million viewers.[4]


External links

Preceded by
Stanley's Cup
South Park episodes Followed by
Cartman Sucks

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