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Seth MacFarlane explains story behind Family Guy's decade-old Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct joke

The animated comedy series featured a joke about the disgraced actor back in 2005

Family Guy made a joke about Kevin Spacey back in 2005

Seth MacFarlane has brushed off the suggestion that he knew of the sexual harassment allegations against Kevin Spacey despite a joke about such rumours making it into an episode of Family Guy over a decade ago.

In a 2005 episode of the animated series, Stewie can be seen running naked through a shopping mall, shouting: “Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement!”

Now, during a Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour panel, creator MacFarlane - in response to how he got away with including that line - revealed he was unaware of the rumours surrounding the actor.

“I don’t remember who pitched the joke,” he said. “I remember when it was pitched… that was a rumour I had actually not heard and other people in the writers’ room had. And it had to be sort of explained to me: ‘Oh, there’s this rumour that’s going on.'”

Producer Alec Sulkin went on to explain the context of the rumour.

“I think that that was something where he was coming off a story where he had been kind of beaten up in a London park, and he claimed that he was walking his dog late at night and fell, and I think that raised a lot of eyebrows. It’s one of the things in terms of Standards where if they heard the rumors, as we have, then they’ll allow it.”

Spacey has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct following the initial accusation by Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp.

The actor was later criticised for seeming to imply causality with his gay sexuality and behaving inappropriately with a minor in his statement of apology. He was later fired by his reps and dropped from Netflix series House of Cards and new Ridley Scott film All the Money in the World; he was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

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