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Network Execs Deny 'South Park' Ad Targeted Mel Gibson

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Aug 03, 2006 | 5:00am EDT

The TV executives behind controversial cartoon South Park have rubbished reports they mocked Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic outburst with a full-page advertisement in Hollywood trade newspaper Variety.

Broadcast giant Comedy Central has run an ad with the characters from South Park shouting, "C'mon, Jews, show them who really runs Hollywood."

But the cartoon figures are standing next to the church of Scientology's headquarters, and TV bosses insist the joke was poking fun at the abruptly cancelled “Trapped in the Closet” episode, which spoofed Tom Cruise and his religious beliefs.

Comedy Central spokesperson Tony Fox tells the Los Angeles Times the timing is "Pure coincidence. It's a little bit of an inside joke at our expense for pulling the Scientology episode."

Fox insists the ad was designed and approved weeks before Gibson's arrest on suspicion of drunk driving and anti-Semitic outburst early Friday.

The ad congratulates the show on its Emmy nomination for the controversial Scientology-themed episode, which re-aired last week for the first time.

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