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Worst of the Week

Family Guy on Fox

Christopher Gildemeister

Release Date: 1/29/2014

Is child molestation funny? Seth MacFarlane thinks so. And the Fox network agrees – as is shown by their choice to air the Sunday, January 26th episode of Fox’s Family Guy (9:00 p.m. ET), the Worst TV Show of the Week.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of Fox’s Sunday-night cartoons Family Guy and American Dad, has along historyof puttingdepravedcontent inhis TV shows. After a while, MacFarlane’s nonstop barrage of filth is positively numbing; asking which program was most offensive is like asking a person attacked with a chainsaw which tooth of the blade hurt the most. But even given MacFarlane’s ceaseless avalanche of trash, once in a while something still shocks – something like saying that CHILD MOLESTATION IS FUNNY.

Which is exactly what MacFarlane did on last Sunday’s Family Guy. In the show’s plot, Brian the dog’s human teenage “son” Dylan, now a TV series star, shows up in town, and Brian tries to cadge a job on the series' writing staff. Brian challenges the writers in the writing room:

Brian: “Art is scary. This is writing, man. The viewer wants to be raped.”

Writer: “Are you saying my nine-year-old daughter wants to be raped?”

Brian: “Now you're asking the right questions!”

No doubt, this is exactly how such conversations actually DO go in MacFarlane’s own writing room; and no doubt, MacFarlane and his fellow “writers” find such material hilarious. But most people in America don’t think the RAPE OF A NINE-YEAR-OLD GIRL is something to joke about.

But one example of child molestation just isn’t enough. MacFarlane follows up the scene above with another, in which Peter’s friend Joe chooses sex fiend/rapist/implied-child-molester as a better friend than Peter:

Quagmire: “Suck it!”

Joe: “I'm sorry, Peter, it's just that Quagmire has been there for me in some pretty dark days, and he's been a wonderful godfather to Suzy.”

Suzy scampers into the room and into Quagmire's arms.

Quagmire: “There's my little Suzy-woozy.”

Peter: “I love Suzy more! C'mere, Suzy. Uncle Peter's gonna give you a raspberry.”

Peter scoops up Suzy. The camera turns away and shows Quagmire and Joe's shocked reactions. Off-camera, Peter makes a “raspberry” noise.

Quagmire: “Peter, that's not where you do a raspberry.”

Peter: “I closed my eyes too early.”

Joe: “I think it's best if you leave.”

Peter: “Oh, yeah? Well, maybe I'll hang out with my godson, Kevin.”

Peter opens the bedroom door.

Kevin: (off-camera) “Get out!”

Peter: “He was masturbating with a knife.”

Let’s be clear about what is happening in this episode: MacFarlane is saying that a nine-year-old girl being raped, inappropriate (probably sexual) contact between an adult and a toddler, and a teenager masturbating with a knife, are the very height of humor.

This being a Seth MacFarlane show, however, naturally the queasy content isn’t limited to jokes about incest and rape. There’s also graphic violence and jokes about children being murdered!

Peter, Joe, and Quagmire go hunting.

Peter: “It’s just too bad that all the animals are so spread out, you know? Wouldn't it be awesome if they were all grouped together like in a cafeteria and you could just go in there with a trench coat and just waste 'em?”

Because what could be funnier than mocking the children murdered at Columbine? How about “jokes” about abortion and children committing suicide?

Dylan: “Sometimes I just want to put this gun in my mouth.” [holds up a handgun]

Director: “Cut! Your line is: ‘That's right, Cameron.’ "

Dylan: “I know. My dad wrote that one for me.”

Director: “Again with this? Yesterday you had Dakota give herself an abdomen punch abortion during her volleyball tournament.”

Brian: “Hey, seventh grade can be hell.”

It sure is if you’re a seventh grader watching Family Guy. But Family Guy doesn’t just joke about violence – it actually shows graphic violence.

TV Announcer: “We now return to The Love Boat with Somali Pirates.”

Somali pirates point machine guns at the crew of the Love Boat. Captain Stubing tells the pirates they have to convince a passenger that she's still in love with her husband.

Pirate: “That is not the captain's responsibility.”

Stubing: “Well, maybe not where you come from, but here on the Love Boat –“

The pirate shoots Stubing in the head. Blood pools on the floor.

Peter accidentally shoots Quagmire while they are out hunting, causing a rift between the two and putting Joe in the middle. Peter offers Quagmire a hand gun and says that in order to be even, Quagmire can shoot him in the arm. Quagmire unexpectedly agrees, but Peter refuses to hand over the gun. They wrestle for it. A gun fires, shooting Peter through the arm.

Peter: “Ah! Son of a bitch!”

The camera pulls back to reveal Joe nearby, holding the gun that shot Peter.

Joe: “It's over. We're all friends again.”

Peter: “What the hell, Joe?”

Joe says he's just trying to settle things, but Quagmire objects. He wanted to be the one to shoot Peter. Peter, meanwhile, thinks he gets to shoot Joe now. Suddenly, a gun goes off and half of Peter's skull flies off.

Quagmire (holding the gun): “All right, we're good.”

For over a decade, Seth MacFarlane has corrupted the hearts and minds of a generation with his incessant “joking” about necrophilia, incest, rape, bestiality, child molestation, and his graphic violence – all on cartoons rated appropriate for 14 year olds, but knowingly targeted at an audience much younger. In this, the Fox broadcasting network has been MacFarlane’s willing partner, ally, and enabler. In fact, Fox bears even more responsibility. Without Fox, MacFarlane would merely be one more marginally talented, potty-mouthed “creative” type hanging around the fringes of Hollywood, hoping for his big break. (Or maybe he’d be flipping hamburgers somewhere.) But because of Fox, MacFarlane’s sick brand of “humor” has come to dominate the public discourse…and American culture is the worse for it.

For joking about the rape of a nine-year-old girl, the sexual molestation of a baby, a boy masturbating with a knife, and brains graphically being blown out with firearms – and for rating all the foregoing as appropriate for 14-year-old viewers -- Fox’s Family Guy is the Worst TV Show of the Week.