The creators of “South Park” appear to have apologized to Al Gore for a 12-year-old episode roasting his belief in ManBearPig, which has long been viewed as a metaphor for climate change.
In the latest episode, the four boys who star in the long-running animated series created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker conclude that the former vice president was right about the existence of the creature ManBearPig.
“You were right. You were totally right. ManBearPig is real and he’s killing lots of people in our town,” says one of the characters.
Mr. Gore, depicted as a reclusive bowler in a shaggy grey beard, refuses at first to help them at first in the episode entitled, “Time to Get Cereal,” a reference to his use of the word “cereal” instead of “seriously.”
“Oh, is it inconvenient now?” the Gore character asks. “I tried to warn you all, but no one took me cereal. You all just made fun of me, didn’t you? Well now you can just deal with it yourself.”
Later, during a ritual to summon a demon, the boys follow Mr. Gore in chants of “Al Gore was right all along” and “We should have taken Al Gore more cereal.”
In the 2006 episode, Mr. Gore calls the fiction creature ManBearPig “the single greatest threat to our planet” in an apparent reference to his climate-change activism.
The same year, he released “An Inconvenient Truth,” the climate documentary for which he won an Oscar. In 2007, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for his climate advocacy.
At the end of Thursday’s show, Mr. Gore gives the boys his Nobel Prize medal and tells them “it’s up to you young people now. You have to find a way to get people to take this cereal.”
Liberal media outlets praised the creators for their change of heart on global warming.
“It appears that now, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have seen the error of their ways,” said Vanity Fair.
“Stone and Parker were typically merciless with Gore back in 2006, and on Wednesday it appeared that they were trying to make amends for not taking climate change as ‘cereal’ as they should have at the time,” the article said.
Salon weighed in with, “The latest episode of ‘South Park attempts to make up for its past of denying the reality of global warming.”
The episode was the sixth of the show’s 22nd season about the residents of South Park, Colorado.