Now this is interesting. According to Roger Friedman of FOX News Issac Hayes couldn’t have quit South Park and someone else is trying to speak on Hayes’ behalf:
I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17. At the time it was said that he was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion.
It’s also absolutely ridiculous to think that Hayes, who loved playing Chef on “South Park,” would suddenly turn against the show because they were poking fun at Scientology.
Last November, when the “Trapped in a Closet” episode of the comedy aired, I saw Hayes and spent time with him in Memphis for the annual Blues Ball.
If he hated the show so much, I doubt he would have performed his trademark hit song from the show, “Chocolate Salty Balls.” He tossed the song into the middle of one of his less salacious hits and got the whole audience in the Memphis Pyramid to sing along.
I can tell you, Hayes was very pleased with himself, was in a great mood and, as always, loved his fans’ coming up to him and asking him about Chef.
As recently as early January, before his stroke, Hayes defended the “South Park” creators in an interview with “The AV Club,” the serious side of the satirical newspaper, The Onion.
AV Club: They did just do an episode that made fun of your religion, Scientology. Did that bother you?
Hayes: Well, I talked to Matt [Stone] and Trey [Parker] about that. They didn’t let me know until it was done. I said, ‘Guys, you have it all wrong. We’re not like that. I know that’s your thing, but get your information correct, because somebody might believe that [expletive], you know?’ But I understand what they’re doing. I told them to take a couple of Scientology courses and understand what we do. [Laughs.]
The truth is, Hayes has a sly sense of humor and loves everything about “South Park.” It’s provided him a much-needed income stream since losing the royalties to the many hits he’s written, such as “Shaft” and “Soul Man,” in the mid-1970s.
Even though he’s one of America’s most prolific hit writers, Hayes has been denied access to profits from his own material for almost 30 years.
But it’s hard to know anything since Hayes, like Katie Holmes, is constantly monitored by a Scientologist representative most of the time. Luckily, at the Blues Ball he was on his own, partying just with family and friends. He was very excited about having gotten married and about the impending birth of a new child.
It would not surprise me in the least if someone in the Church of Scientology is trying to take advantage of Hayes suffering a stroke to try and bring about the end of South Park. The Scientologists are known for going to extremes to silence criticism of their cult and have engaged in some pretty underhanded things to do it. Looks like we won’t know for sure until Hayes is well enough to speak for himself, assuming he has had a stroke and is in recovery.