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closet +‎ -gate; from the name of the South Park television episode "Trapped in the Closet" (referring to the figurative "closet" that homosexuals who have not disclosed their sexual orientation are said to be in).

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A scandal following the airing of the South Park television episode "Trapped in the Closet", which was a satirical parody of Scientology and Scientologist actor Tom Cruise.[1][2]
    • 2006 March 18, Scott Collins, “Clamor outside `South Park' closet”, in Los Angeles Times[2]:
      Closetgate is heating up! Paramount has joined Tom Cruise's public relations rep in denying reports that the movie star strong-armed the studio into spiking a "South Park" episode that ridicules him and Scientology.
    • 2006 March 19, David Usborne, “South Park declares war on Tom Cruise”, in The Independent[3]:
      The Los Angeles Times dubbed the flap Closetgate. "For Stone and Parker, Closetgate will be the gift that keeps on giving," it said.
    • 2006 August 23, Anu Anand, “Congo, Iran & Tom Cruise”, in BBC World Service[4]:
      Viacom says it's dropping actor Tom Cruise for his strange behaviour. You fans will remember the South Park 'Closetgate' episode and 'couch incident' on the popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show of May 23, 2005.
    • 2009, David Lake, “The 10 Most Controversial 'South Park' Episodes”, in MSN TV[5]:
      Dubbed Closetgate, Comedy Central, a network owned by Viacom, pulled a rerun of this Emmy-nominated episode, supposedly under pressure from Tom Cruise, who threatened to bail out of promoting his upcoming film "Mission: Impossible III," which was being released by Paramount, a division of Viacom.
    • 2009, “Tom Cruise - Biography”, in Turner Classic Movies[6]:
      Matt Stone and Trey Parker – the show’s fearless creators – were not afraid to call out Cruise on his power play – being dubbed “Closetgate” by The L.A. Times – even taking out ads, proclaiming tongue-in-cheek that they themselves were "servants of Xenu" and that the "million-year war for Earth" had only just begun, presumably now that their show had been screwed with backdoor deals.
    • 2009, “Off-screen antics cost Cruise”, in Herald-Sun[7]:
      Loony toon ... Controversy erupted in March over a South Park episode that made light of Tom's religion, Scientology. The LA Times dubbed it "Closetgate" as Comedy Central pulled the episode at the last minute.


For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:Closetgate.

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Collins, Scott (2006-03-18), “Channel Island; Clamor outside 'South Park' closet; 'Mission: Impossible' studio joins Cruise's camp in denying it strong-armed scrapping of Scientology repeat.”, in Los Angeles Times, pages Calendar Desk; Part E; Pg. 16
  2. ^ Usborne, David (March 19, 2006), “South Park declares war on Tom Cruise”, in The Independent[1], retrieved 2009-12-08