ChatGPT Co-Wrote an Episode of South Park. Will The AI Chatbot Replace the Need for Writers in Hollywood?

By Cleo Scott



ChatGPT has been a hot topic lately. From dating apps[1] to the courtroom[2], the natural language processing tool driven by artificial intelligence technology is transforming the way we do things.[3] Now, the trailblazing chatbot can add television writing to its resume. South Park creators used OpenAI’s chatbot to create the fourth episode of season 26.[4] The episode, titled “Deep Learning,” shows boys from Stan’s class using the chatbot to write essays and send texts to girls.[5] During a speech written by ChatGPT, the character argues that people shouldn’t be blamed for using the chatbot.[6] “It’s the giant tech companies who took Open AI, packaged it, monetized it, and pushed it out to all of us as fast as they could in order to get ahead,” Stan says.[7]

At one point in the episode, Stan asks ChatGPT to write a story that takes place in South Park, where a boy named Stan must convince his girlfriend that it’s okay that he lied about using AI to text her.[8] After sending the request to ChatGPT, the chatbot begins “thinking” and replies with a story within seconds.[9] “Once upon a time, there was a boy named Stan who lived in South Park. Stan loved his girlfriend very much, but lately, he hadn’t been truthful with her. One day, when Stan got to school, he was approached by his best friend,” the response read.[10]

The ending credits show that the episode was written by both Trey Parker and ChatGPT.[11] While it is remarkable how advanced AI has become, people are now wondering if AI tools like ChatGPT will soon replace the need for human writers. OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman thinks the chatbot could even be used to fix the last season of Game of Thrones.[12] “That is what entertainment will look like,” Brockman said at a SXSW panel. “Maybe people are still upset about the last season of Game of Thrones. Imagine if you could ask your A.I. to make a new ending that goes a different way and maybe even put yourself in there as a main character or something.”[13] Others also think ChatGPT should be used for television writing. For instance, Deadline used ChatGPT to create a pitch for a Mad Max reboot.[14] The chatbot responded with a detailed pitch outlining the premise of the show.[15] While the pitch needed some tweaking, it was said to be doable.[16]

Brockman thinks ChatGPT could help do the “drudge work” for writing but also add a more “interactive” entertainment experience.[17] Hollywood is now monitoring the potential impact of ChatGPT on the industry.[18] The Writers Guild of America West said they are “monitoring the development of ChatGPT and similar technologies in the event they require additional protections for writers.”[19] On the other hand, screenwriters interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter see ChatGPT as a potential tool to aid the writing process instead of a tool that will replace the work of writers.[20]

The issue is that what often takes writers weeks or months to formulate only takes ChatGPT 30 seconds.[21] Brockman said ChatGPT could take over the types of jobs where users “didn’t want human judgment there in the first place.”[22] Big Fish and Aladdin writer John August doesn’t think the AI chatbot will be replacing the kind of writing they’re doing in writers’ rooms anytime soon.[23] Still, he thinks we should start thinking about the best ways to use the tool.[24] “There certainly is no putting the genie back in the bottle. It’s going to be here, and we need to be thinking about how to use it in ways that advance art and don’t limit us.”[25]






[1] Anna Iovine, Tinder users are using ChatGPT to message matches, MASHABLE (Dec. 17, 2022),

[2] Janus Rose, A Judge Just Used ChatGPT to Make a Court Decision, Vice (Feb. 3, 2023),

[3] See Natasha Lomas, ChatGPT shrugged, TechCrunch (Dec. 5, 2022) (quoting “ChatGPT is a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that’s designed to help people communicate with computers in a more natural and intuitive way — using natural language processing (NLP) technology.”),

[4] Stacy Liberatore, South Park’s latest episode was co-written by ChatGPT: ‘Deep Learning’ ends with a script generated by OpenAI’s chatbot, Daily Mail (Mar. 17, 2023),

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Liberatore, supra note 4.

[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] J. Clara Chan, Using ChatGPT to Rewrite ‘Game of Thrones’? OpenAI Co-Founder Says “That Is What Entertainment Will Look Like”, The Hollywood Reporter (Mar. 10, 2023),

[13] Id.

[14] Melissa Murphy, ChatGPT Is Going To Start Writing Hollywood Movies?, Giant Freakin Robot (last visited Mar. 18, 2023),

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] Chan, supra note 12.

[18] Id.

[19] Id.

[20] Id.

[21] Murphy, supra note 14.

[22] Chan, supra note 12.

[23] Katie Kilkenny & Winston Cho, Attack of the Chatbots: Screenwriters’ Friend or Foe?, The Hollywood Reporter (Jan. 12, 2023),

[24] See id.

[25] Id.

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