A couple of years ago the “South Park” episode “Canada on Strike” satirized internet viral videos, focusing in particular on the boys getting Butters to star in a video ripping off “What What In The Butt.” The motivation behind their video is to make a lot of money, assuming that naturally if a million people watch a video on YouTube, the creator must get rich, right? In an absolutely inspired scene, the boys end up in a waiting room with the stars of other viral videos, each waiting (indefinitely) for their payout of money from the Internet.
In a move assuring the world that they have not the slightest concept of irony, the creators of “What What In The Butt” are suing Viacom and Comedy Central for stealing the idea behind their video. Yes, “South Park” satirized their video as the apex of people thinking that they are entitled to money for posting idiotic videos of themselves online and so now they are suing to get exactly that money.
It reminds me of the (probably overly simplified) explanation of libel from The People vs. Larry Flynt, in which if the depiction in question would not be believed as true by anyone who knows the “victim,” then it can’t possibly be libel. These guys are trying to strike out on the other side of the law by demonstrating that it can’t be libel if it actually is demonstrably true.
Of course it’s possibly too much to ask for sanity from these guys, who have been claiming for years that a What What (In the Butt): The Movie is in the works. I’m sure it’ll be a touching romantic comedy with a talking dog. Since Justin Bieber got his start on YouTube, he’ll probably play the dog. They’ll have to teach him to talk though.
The other funny thing? If you’ve ever endured the original video, you’d note that it satirizes the iconic rose petals scene from American Beauty. So their basic legal argument is that “South Park” was trying to kidnap what they had rightfully stolen. Inconceivable!