Paris Hilton has recently opened up about how her portrayal in the popular animated television show, South Park, left her feeling sick.
Hilton, a socialite and former reality TV star, is no stranger to being in the spotlight, but she was taken aback by the way she was depicted in the 2004 episode ‘Stupid Spoiled Wh**e Video Playset’.
In the episode, the girls in South Park become obsessed with Paris Hilton and strive to be like her, as the show describes, “stupid spoiled wh**es”.
Hilton’s character is drawn with wonky eyes and is shown coughing up e*aculate, while her pet chihuahua commits s*icide. The episode also features a poster with Hilton’s face and the tagline “Watch Paris Die!”.
Hilton has spoken out about the impact this episode had on her mental health in her new book, Paris: The Memoir.
She revealed that the episode made her feel sick, and she couldn’t understand where the graphic portrayal of her dog being shot and killed came from.
She wrote, “I’ve been involved in some pretty edgy media, but I don’t even know where something like that comes from.”
Hilton also expressed her disappointment with the way the show applied the epithet “stupid spoiled wh**e” to not just her but also to other female celebrities like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Tara Reid. This upset Hilton more than anything ugly they could say about her.
Hilton’s decision not to speak out at the time apparently led to her receiving harsh words from one half of South Park’s creative team, Matt Stone.
A journalist informed Stone of Hilton’s muted response to the episode, and he commented, “That shows how fed up she is. My not wanting to watch his cartoon about my dog being sh*t and me coughing up e*aculate — that’s evidence of how fed up I am.”
Hilton is not the only celebrity to have been targeted by South Park.
Barbra Streisand, a singer and actress, was repeatedly mocked during the show’s first season.
The creators reportedly had a strong distaste for her, and she was portrayed turning into a giant ‘Mecha Streisand’. In response to her portrayal, Streisand questioned whether shows like South Park and Beavis and Butthead contributed to the cynicism and negativity in our culture, especially in children.
She feared that young girls might come away feeling that any woman who dares to accomplish something is the incarnation of self-centeredness and greed.
The creators of South Park responded to Streisand’s criticism by featuring pictures of her face in the episode ‘Spookyfish’.
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to be the target of parody and satire, but it’s clear that these portrayals can have a significant impact on their mental health and well-being.
Hilton’s story highlights the importance of considering the impact of our words and actions on others, even if they are in the public eye.
As Streisand noted, we must be mindful of the messages we are sending, particularly to young people who are still forming their attitudes towards the world.