Family Guy addresses its position on 'gay jokes'

New scene says previous stance was 'widely misunderstood'

Clémence Michallon
New York
Tuesday 22 October 2019 20:36
Family Guy addresses its position on 'gay jokes'

Family Guy might be walking back its decision to phase out jokes about gay people on the show.

The animated series’s latest episode, “Disney’s The Reboot”, which aired on Sunday, contains a scene in which some characters joke about Peter Griffin’s sexuality.

“I thought I read you guys were phasing out gay jokes,” says the member of a focus group who’s presumably helping Fox craft a Family Guy reboot.

Peter then replies: “That quote was taken out of context and widely misunderstood.”

The moment appears to reference a sequence in a previous Family Guy episode in which Peter said the series would discontinue jokes about LGBT+ people.

In the January 2019 episode “Trump Guy”, the show’s version of President Donald Trump tells Peter, who has just landed a job as White House Press Secretary: “Many children have learned their favourite Jewish, black, and gay jokes by watching your show over the years.”

Peter responds: “In fairness, we’ve been trying to phase out the gay stuff” – a stance apparently contradicted by the series’s latest instalment.

Executive producers Alec Sulkin and Richard Appel had echoed the position expressed in “Trump Guy” in a subsequent interview with TV Line.

“If you look at a show from 2005 or 2006 and put it side by side with a show from 2018 or 2019, they’re going to have a few differences,” Sulkin told the website at the time. ”Some of the things we felt comfortable saying and joking about back then, we now understand is not acceptable.”

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Appel pointed out that the show, which is now in its 18th season, has been on the air for almost two decades and added: ”The climate is different, the culture is different and our views are different. They’ve been shaped by the reality around us, so I think the show has to shift and evolve in a lot of different ways.”

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