South Park never goes harder than when it goes after hypocrisy, and tonight, its allegorical tale involved the NCAA and the obscene profits reaped from what is essentially free labor. Yet EA Sports—and, of all people, its president, Peter Moore—ended up getting it the worst.
Breaking down tonight's show TV Guide-like, Cartman's latest scheme is "Crack Baby Basketball," an Internet video sensation that becomes America's fastest growing sport. EA Sports acquires the video game license as Kyle, the league's accountant, acquires a conscience about exploiting the helpless infants. The kids cook up a PR scheme to build an upscale orphanage with a percentage of the licensing money, but it all falls apart when EA Sports flips the script, swindling the boys out of their league and money and teaching them what it really means to be exploited.
Ironically, the show references a lawsuit against the NCAA and EA Sports, brought by former NCAA athletes, which alleges that their likenesses were used in video games and other works without their permission. One of the claims against EA Sports was tossed by a federal judge. Another was allowed to proceed but is pending an appeal of that decision.
In "Crack Baby Athletic Association," Moore is presented as "Mr. Peters," a Scotch-swilling, stogie-puffing Boss Hogg of video gaming. That is most certainly not a Liverpool accent you hear in the video. When the kids bring up that they were going to use the money to help crack babies, "Mr. Peters" uncorks the line of the night:
Oh, well ... fuck ‘em! And fuck you too! I piss in your faces. ... Now let's part with that ol' EA Sports saying: Get the fuck outta my building!
I thought it was "It's in the game."
There's a little history between the two sides here. Last year, South Park went after Tiger Woods and cooked up a version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 which descended from golf simulation into Mortal Kombat against his wronged wife, Elin Nordegren. Rumors that EA Sports considered suing South Park's creators were bullshit from the get-go, but given the tone of tonight's episode, one could assume both parties at least exchanged some unpleasantries.