"Blame Canada" is a song from the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, written by Trey Parker & Marc Shaiman. In the song, the fictional parents of South Park, led by Sheila Broflovski, decided to blame Canada for the trouble their children have been getting into since watching the Canadian-made fictional movie Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire and imitating what they saw and heard in the movie. The parents refuse to accept that by not preventing their children from watching Terrance and Phillip in the first place, they are themselves to blame for their children's misbehavior (on the obvious grounds that they do not want to look like bad parents). Thus the South Park film satirizes scapegoating, and the reactions the creators of South Park expected to receive from the very movie the song was featured in.
The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song (1999). This created controversy, because all nominated songs are traditionally performed during the Oscar broadcast, but the song contained the word fuck, which the FCC prohibits using in prime time broadcasts. Comedian Robin Williams performed the song with a chorus who gasped when the word was to be sung (Williams turned around at the crucial moment, and did not actually sing it). He included digs at Margaret Trudeau and Bryan Adams, partially taken from lyrics of Sheila Broflovski's reprise of the song in "La Resistance". He referenced Celine Dion as well. Mary Kay Bergman, the voice actress who sang the female parts in the song, committed suicide months before the performance, forcing the organizers to search for a replacement for her and Trey Parker, who did the male voices. Williams introduced the song by speaking with duct tape over his mouth so that his speech resembled that of Kenny McCormick, then tearing it off and finally saying Stan Marsh's trademark line, "Oh my god! They killed Kenny!"
There was also some concern about the fact the song referred to well-known Canadian singer Anne Murray as a "bitch", but Murray indicated that she was not offended by the tongue-in-cheek lyric (Murray was even invited to sing the song herself on the Oscar telecast, but had to decline due to a prior commitment). When asked, the Canadian Consul General (and former Prime Minister) Kim Campbell noted that she was not offended by the song since it was clearly a silly satirical piece not intended to insult her country. This is made clear in the final line of the song:
We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!
Coincidentally, the Canadian Oscar telecast in which Robin Williams sang the song included the premiere of the famous "I Am Canadian" rant advertisement, which counters many perceived Canadian stereotypes.
- The Academy Award was instead awarded to Phil Collins' song "You'll Be in My Heart" which was parodied on an episode of South Park released the following year, "Timmy 2000", as "You'll Be in Me". In the episode, Phil Collins, who acts as the episode's antagonist, was always seen holding his Oscar statuette. At the end of the episode, it gets painfully stuck up his rear end.
See also