Writing for Fox News, Roger Friedman argues that Isaac Hayes may have been coerced into quitting South Park
. Friedman questions why Hayes would expend energy to quit the show while recuperating from a stroke, and offers two other bits of supporting evidence:
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.]
I wonder if they ever took those courses...
(Link via Tim Blair)
Update: In Blair's comments, Jim Treacher links to an Opie and Anthony interview with Hayes that casts further doubts on the official explanation for Hayes' departure.