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"South Park" Cruises to the Emmys

7/6/2006 4:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Thursday's Emmy nominations issued Tom Cruise a big slap in the face and simultaneously re-ignited the Cruise vs. "South Park" grudge match.

"South Park'"s infamous "Trapped in the Closet" episode - which mocked Tom Cruise and Scientology - received praise from the Television Academy via a nod for Outstanding Animated Program.

Ironically, when the episode originally aired in November 2005 the credits listed each contributor's name as 'John Smith' or 'Jane Smith' - an evident reference to the possibility of being sued.

"Trapped in the Closet" eventually led Isaac Hayes - who is a Scientologist - to leave his role as the voice of Chef over what he called the show's "intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs." Further controversy ensued when Comedy Central planned to re-air the episode in March 2006 but replaced it at the last minute with another episode.

Rumors circulated that Tom Cruise was behind the cancellation. Cruise denied any involvement and Comedy Central insisted the episode was changed as a tribute to Hayes who had just announced his departure.

While you may have a better chance of spotting baby Suri than seeing Tom at the Emmys, all eyes will be on "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker should the program win on August 27.

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