‘South Park’ Blames Kathleen Kennedy for ‘Why Disney Movies All Suck Now’

Paramount+’s latest special sets its sights on Disney’s poor box office performance

Kathleen Kennedy in "South Park"
Kathleen Kennedy in "South Park" (Photo Credit: Paramount+)

“South Park” had one big, unexpected villain in its latest special: Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “Joining the Panderverse” even went as far as to blame the executive for “why Disney movies all suck now.” Spoilers ahead.

Before diving into the madness that is “South Park,” some background on Kennedy is helpful. The real-life executive became president of Lucasfilm after Disney acquired the company in 2012, handpicked by George Lucas. Kennedy has overseen the latest Star Wars films — including “The Force Awakens,” “Rogue One,” “The Last Jedi,” “Solo” and “The Rise of Skywalker” — all of the Star Wars series on Disney+ and the newest Indiana Jones movie, “Dial of Destiny.” She is not involved with Marvel or Disney’s non-Star Wars animated content, though that doesn’t seem to be the case in the universe of “South Park.”

At first blush, that may make her an odd choice as “South Park’s” latest boogeyman. But buckle up because that’s just the beginning of this particular rollercoaster.

Paramount+’s “Joining the Panderverse” starts with Cartman waking up with a nightmare in which he and all of his friends have been replaced by queer adult women of color as Bob Iger’s stock falls. He begs his mom to check under his bed to make sure “no Disney executives are under there,” namely Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.

But as is often the case with “South Park,” what starts as a silly take on the irrational fears and anger of fanboys is pushed to its absolute limits. As the special progresses, Cartman swaps places with his multiverse counterpart, a Black woman who acts identically to him. And it’s all Kathleen Kennedy’s fault.

In the special, Kennedy and Disney CEO Bob Iger eventually reveal that they’ve been using a device known as the Pander Stone, “an ancient piece of artificial intelligence that could be used to make the same movies over and over again while appealing to absolutely everyone,” Kennedy explains.

These more diverse movies led to a backlash of hateful and racist letters from fans. Desperate to counter this bigotry, “South Park’s” Kennedy returned to the Pander Stone and attempted to fight back with even more “lit” movies. The repeated use of the Pander Stone fractured the multiverse, known as the Panderverse, which is how both versions of Cartman and Kennedy came to be in the wrong universe.

“That’s actually the best explanation I’ve heard about why Disney movies all suck now,” Cartman says to Kennedy.

Ultimately, the two team up. Cartman apologizes for sending Kennedy tens of thousands of pieces of hate mail a day about Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and Kennedy vows to make “original content that doesn’t pander” going forward.

“I’m sorry I was so reckless with the things that you love. It was lazy,” Kennedy tells Cartman, getting to the crux of the episode.

“I guess just railing on woke stuff all the time is pretty lazy too,” Cartman responds.

This is far from the first time “South Park” has targeted Disney. It’s not even the show’s most ridiculous thrashing of the company. A vulgar, cruel and money-obsessed version of Mickey Mouse often serves as the show’s Disney punching bag. Over the course of the series, Mickey Mouse has bullied the Jonas brothers to become sex symbols, teamed up with Randy to sell weed in China and was shown having sex with a bat and a pangolin. The latter foray leads to the start of COVID-19 in the “South Park” universe.

The show even previously took on the “Indiana Jones” in an episode devoted to the poorly received “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” that time blaming Lucas and director Steven Spielberg.

But this may be the first time Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s show has so explicitly and repeatedly targeted a specific entertainment executive rather than the head of a conglomerate. Typically, the show uses recognizable stand-ins — like Mickey Mouse — for its corporate mockery rather than naming names. Other corporate heads the series has ridiculed include its telepathic take on Jeff Bezos and its poorly dubbed Mark Zuckerberg.

Watch a clip from the special below.


6 responses to “‘South Park’ Blames Kathleen Kennedy for ‘Why Disney Movies All Suck Now’”

  1. Brad Avatar

    This is why people call our generation a bunch of wimps.  Are you actually offended by a crudely drawn cartoon that is meant to be ridiculous? People can’t even make a joke anymore,unless of course, it is at the expense of something they’re told not to believe in. 

    Star Wars and Disney now suck, and believing everything you hear is not rebellious. Being a Democrat used to be cool, now it has become the status quo. Worshipping late night hosts and whining about everything, including purported inaccuracies, is lame.

    I had 4 strokes at a very young age, I can no longer walk, talk, or use half of my body. You’ll never hear me complain, you complain about the trivial in the name of the establishment, that’s pretty lame.

  2. JL Avatar

    They aren’t wrong. Kennedy is the single biggest failure of the modern Disney era. One overly-empowered uppity exec has managed to absolutely destroy the cash cow that was Star Wars. South park’s spoof on her character is spot on with what Star Wars fans have been saying for 10 years now. 

  3. Mikey Avatar

    Or maybe it is within Cartman’s characterisation? The fact that he is prone to hyperbole, and is adamant to prove that he is correct? Cartman was never meant to be taken seriously, which is a huge point in his character. From the Chinese takeover, to gingers being souless, to a throwaway gag of Kenny’s family having a guard robot in the hall, there are dozens of examples of this.

    Plus, the backlash of the more recent takes on Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Marvel et al is overstated. Online, hyperbole is possibly the most effective way to get attention, but in real life a lot of folks are just underwhelmed. I personally saw the Force Awakens in theatres, and fell asleep two or three times. It just seemed like a rehash of a New Hope. Therefore, I didn’t see the following films.

    The failure of many movies can also be down to multiple other factors, some of which have nothing to do with the movies themselves. Everything costs more these days, so maybe people are finding more cost-effective means of recreation? Double, triple, or whatever that if we are talking about folks with children. Additionally, films frequently come out on streaming platforms within a week of cinema release – so they just wait for that. Also, people can be busy and not have the time.

    Getting back on track, the author must not be the ideal audience for South Park. South Park bites hard, goes into ridiculous territory (dolphins and whales causing Pearl Harbour, anyone?), and should not be taken seriously. I recommend touching grass, and going for a stroll in the woods.

  4. CosmicMate Avatar

    The special was spot on and hilarious! Matt Stone and Trey Parker can be trusted to say out loud what everyone thinks. Kathleen Kennedy ruined Star Wars.

  5. Rob Avatar

    This show was pure GOLD….. South Park had insider info and dropped so many hints that people with back door connections know that they were making parody of facts. She was getting 10,000 messages a day from angry Star Wars and Indy fans. Kennedy and Disney have destroyed their CashCow with woke. For more amusement go look at the stock value of Disney. It tanked with the release of Panderverse as it was watched day by day. Disney reacted by pulling all movies, ordering reshoots and extended release dates by a year. It was a total nuke on the company. If was a minority stockholder would be suing Disney for lack of faith and demanding court appointed management to represent stockholder interests and profits. This company has lost it’s way and is no longer for profit – they are only in it for political messaging and missing 90% of flyover country who will never watch these things. You cannot make media for LA and NYC only and be profitable.

  6. Sylvan Creach Avatar
    Sylvan Creach

    Weird how these mainstream online magazines simply summarize the episode and do not comment on the substance of it. This is tacit agreement with the Panderverse premise.

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