Tom Cruise's ''South Park'' episode nominated for Emmy -- Show creators entered ''Trapped in the Closet'' but could it win?

How did South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone respond to Comedy Central yanking ”Trapped in the Closet” off the air last spring? By submitting the controversial episode, which lampoons Scientology and Tom Cruise, for Emmy consideration. ”We did it to be jerks,” Stone admits. ”A f—you to Comedy Central. And lo and behold, it got nominated.” (The series competes for best animated show at the Aug. 19 Emmy creative arts ceremony.)

Stone adds that the net’s decision to rerun ”Closet” this month is less about award possibilities and more about saving face: ”They knew they screwed up and decided to rectify it. They told us weeks ago that the episode was gonna go back on the air in July.” (Counters a network rep: ”We rotate the episodes in and out of our schedule. ‘Closet’ is being rotated back in.”) The best part — for the Park boys, anyway? ”I hope this will be the last article that ties us to Tom Cruise,” says Stone. ”Not because we’re afraid of him. We’re just done with that guy.”

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