Anti-Woke ‘South Park’ Fans Don’t Understand That ‘Joining The Panderverse’ Made Fun of Them, Too
The online South Park fandom’s favorite new catchphrase, “Put a chick in it and make her lame and gay,” sure sounds like a slam dunk for every Reddit thread and Twitter post about a Hollywood casting announcement — until you realize that they’re all agreeing with Cartman.
The most predictable outcome from the success of the most recent South Park Paramount+ special, South Park: Joining the Panderverse, is that Kathleen Cartman Kennedy’s iconic line every time she makes a movie-producing decision (or orders a plate of pasta) has become a rallying cry for terminally online, anti-woke South Park fans. Much like Cartman himself, these men are fed up with the tired trend of Disney and other big budget studios rebooting a beloved property by gender swapping the previously male characters and making marketable social issues the focus of the franchise. Equally inevitable in the memeification of “put a chick in it, make her gay” was the fact that those same fans flatly ignore the climactic conversation between Cartman and the “real” Kathleen Kennedy in the final act of Joining the Panderverse wherein Cartman admitted that his anti-woke whining and sexist slander was just as bad as Kennedy’s political pandering in a peak “both sides are equally dumb” centrist South Park moment.
However, the many, many South Park fans who understand the principle of “You’re Not Supposed To Share Cartman’s Beliefs” have noticed that the rest of the fandom missed the point of Joining the Panderverse about as badly as the Mulan remake missed the mark. A recent thread in the South Park subreddit, titled simply “r/southpark,” called out the Cartman apologists for abusing the admittedly punchy catchphrase and being dumber and lazier than even the wokest Disney screenwriter.
These users’ gripes follow a month straight of the subreddit seeing daily posts wherein Kathleen Cartman Kennedy was the face of whichever video game franchise, film series, TV show, comic book or podcast went woke and broke. “They missed the whole point and it's embarrassing,” the original poster wrote of the targets of his “say the line, Bart” meme. Another commenter added, “South Park: ‘I guess wailing on woke stuff all the time is pretty lazy.’ r/southpark: wails on woke stuff all the time.”
“A lot of people in this sub missed or didn't want to acknowledge the other point that arc of the special made; that Cartman's toxic fandom, resistant to any kind of change from what had been before and definitely against anything ‘replacing’ straight white heroes, was as bad as or worse than the pandering to Woke culture itself,” another user expounded. “(South Park) went so far as to essentially blame fans like Cartman for creating the over-correction towards pandering to Woke culture by being caustic, bile spewing ‘fans’ who cannot accept anyone or anything different than what they perceive as ‘right’. Yet, naturally you see fans here who didn't get the whole point.”
The phenomenon isn’t contained to the South Park subreddit, either — anti-woke Twitter warriors have co-opted “put a chick in it, make her gay” to celebrate the struggle of the female-focused flop The Marvels, and the rumor that the upcoming Fantastic Four film would feature a woman playing the Silver Surfer inspired the same reaction. One such mouth breather wrote, “You think Marvel/Disney couldn't stoop lower than the Marvels? Kevin Feige says hold my Bud Light! The Panderverse strikes the SILVER SURFER! Put a Chick in it and make her Gay and Lame!”
Though it’s easy and justified to blame the hordes of barely literate, irony-blind, anti-woke keyboard warriors who adopted the catchphrase to engage in the exact same behavior as Cartman did in Joining the Panderverse, the entire “put a chick in it” meme highlights a problem with South Park’s approach to satire that’s as old as the show itself. By sitting on every fence and attempting to insult each side equally regardless of the issue the show’s tackling, Trey Parker and Matt Stone give ample reason for those with a strong enough confirmation bias to believe that South Park supports their bigoted, narrow beliefs — because, if it didn’t, then why does the funny fat kid always say exactly what they think?