• Seth MacFarlane’s Disgusting Emmy Bid

    by  • July 18, 2013 • Broadcast Decency • 19 Comments

    Every year, producers and companies responsible for TV programs run ads in the Hollywood trade press, urging members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to give their programs an Emmy award. But one producer’s desperate ads have celebrated not only his shows, but bad taste: Seth MacFarlane.

    In his depraved Sunday-night cartoons Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show (not to mention last year’s big-screen movie Ted), Seth MacFarlane has built a career on “entertainment” that wallows in misogyny and anti-Semitism; jokes about violence against women, rape, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality; and even ridicules children with disabilities.

    That MacFarlane thinks such content is appropriate for a prime-time TV audience filled with children is disgusting enough. But MacFarlane actually thinks his depraved content and hateful attitudes are positive selling points for his series.

    One early ad urging the Academy to consider Family Guy for an Emmy featured the show’s character Baby Stewie proclaiming, “I’m smelling a major award. No, wait. That’s my diaper!” In 2009, MacFarlane’s Emmy ad showed Stewie yelling, “Indians and Hispanics don’t live in Scranton!” MacFarlane defended his race-baiting by claiming the ad was poking fun at the NBC series The Office; but he resumed the practice the following year.  The 2010 ad featured Family’s Guy’s Peter Griffin character dressed as Gabourey Sidibe, the young, female, African-American star of the acclaimed movie Precious – accompanied by the slogan, “Vote For Us Or You’re Racist!”

    In recent years, anti-Semitism has been MacFarlane’s preferred form of bigotry. His 2011 Emmy ad sneered, “You have to vote for us. We did a Holocaust episode!” The inside cover of the ad mailer read, “Celebrating diversity – written by 8 WASPs, 6 Jews, 2 Asians and 1 Gay.” And last year, MacFarlane’s ad blatantly insulted the same group, with the Peter character proclaiming, “Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let us into your little club.” So offensive was this ad that various entertainment industry newspapers – including Variety and The Hollywood Reporter – refused to run it.

    This year, MacFarlane decided to eschew racism in favor of crude sexual content. Making reference to an event that occurred during an episode of the HBO series Girls (in which a man ejaculated on his girlfriend), this year’s Family Guy ad depicts various male characters from the cartoon dressed as women, with the caption, “Here’s a load of comedy to shoot on your chest.”

    While Family Guy has won several Emmys in its history, they have typically been in categories like Animation or Sound Mixing. (MacFarlane himself did win one Emmy for his voice-over talents…way back in the year 2000.) Since 2009, the show has not even been NOMINATED for an “Outstanding Comedy Series” award – yet MacFarlane so desperately craves recognition for his filth that he continues to submit the show, even though by now it must be obvious to even to him that it will never win.

    Clearly, MacFarlane still believes his mélange of sex, scatology, foul language, and ultra-graphic violence deserves an Emmy. Though the PTC is far from being a fan, we hereby offer Seth a bit of advice: if you want to be considered an artiste, maybe bigotry and toilet humor aren’t the way to go.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    19 Responses to Seth MacFarlane’s Disgusting Emmy Bid

    1. Richard Romm
      July 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Dear Mr. Gildemeister,

      Seth MacFarlane is one of the most creative, talented and funny people in show business. His celebrity impersonations, brilliant voice acting and comedic timing are second to none. I am a Jew who has never taken offense to MacFarlane’s Jewish caricatures. His public appearances prove that he is liberal, tolerant and sensitive to racial and religious prejudice.

      Perhaps you could watch Family Guy with me, my brother and father (who is 63-years-old and a huge Family Guy fan) and you might gain a greater appreciation for top-notch storytelling, hilarious writing and fantastic animation. A sense of humor is required.

      Sincerely,
      Richard Romm

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        July 26, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Dear Mr. Romm,

        Thank you for your comment. However, I hope you will understand if I disagree with several of the assertions you made therein. To wit:

        “Seth MacFarlane is one of the most creative, talented and funny people in show business.”

        • Baby Stewie is tortured on a rack by his dominatrix-clad mother Lois, who puts out a cigarette on her infant’s chest. Stewie exclaims, “Beat the crap out of me! Step on my cubes! Slap me across the face like a bitch! Violate me with a wine bottle!” (Family Guy, February 12, 2007)

        • Peter’s mother goes to Mexico for an abortion. She is strung up by a rope, and children beat her stomach with piñata sticks. Peter falls out of his mother’s uterus alive and dangles by the umbilical cord. (Family Guy, November 18, 2007)

        • Baby Stewie and Brian discuss Stewie’s plans to torture his mother, Lois.

        Stewie: “I’ll teach that hussy to go on a boat ride without me. When she returns I’m going to put bamboo splinters under all her fingernails. And I’m going to strip her down and tie her to the bed.”
        Brian: “Okay.”
        Stewie: “Then I’m going to make her crawl on her hands and knees while I drip hot candle wax all over her back.”
        Brian: “And then what are you going to do?”
        Stewie: “Let’s see…”
        Brian: “Are you going to shower her off after all of that candle wax?”
        Stewie: “No. I’m going to keep her filthy.”
        Brian: “Yeah, she’s been a bad girl.”
        Stewie: “And then I’m going to gag her with her own brassiere.”
        Brian laughs.
        Stewie: “What?”
        Brian: “No, nothing. That’s all part of your diabolical plan to humiliate her.”
        Stewie: “Yes, yes! She’ll be humiliated.”
        Brian: “Maybe you’ll handcuff her. She’ll hate that.”
        Stewie: “Then I shall do that, as well.”
        Brian: “And call her a bitch?”
        Stewie: “Until I’m hoarse with rage.”
        Brian: “Maybe smack her ass with a riding crop?”
        Stewie: ” Yes, and then…What?”
        Brian: “That would show her.”
        Stewie: “You’re getting some kind of sick sexual thrill off this, aren’t you?”
        (Family Guy, November 4, 2007)

        • Brian talks with his date Tracy.

        Tracy: “In high school I was violated sexually by my father. It happened on numerous occasions and I was too afraid to tell anyone, because I felt like it was my fault.”

        Brian: “So… you DO go all the way!”

        (Family Guy, April 27, 2008)

        • Peter: “Everyone, some of the milk in the fridge is not milk. It’s horse sperm.”

        Stewie deliberately lifts a spoonful of cereal to his mouth and chews it slowly.

        (Family Guy, March 8, 2009)

        • In a “parody” of Stand By Me, a group of boys gather in a tree house, swilling beer and looking at Playboy magazines.

        Peter:“ Quag Chambers. He was the leader of our gang. He had sex when he was five and committed his first rape when he was ten. Rape of course being legal in the ‘50s.”

        (Family Guy, May 10, 2009)

        • In a “parody” of Misery, Stewie fires a shotgun, blowing off both of Joe’s legs. Joe sits on the floor in a huge puddle of blood, the stumps of his legs jutting out as the severed leg portions lie on the floor before him.

        Joe: “Now I’m gonna have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.”

        Stewie: “No, you’re not.”

        Stewie fires a shotgun at Joe’s head. Blood vividly splatters Stewie’s face.

        (Family Guy, May 10, 2009)

        “He is liberal, tolerant and sensitive to racial and religious prejudice.”

        • In the Stand By Me parody, the African-American Cleveland enters the clubhouse.

        Cleveland: “Lawd-a-mighty, ah done seen me a deeead body down by de lake. Sho’ ‘nuff, ah thought ah’d go deef and dumb when ah saw me dat dead body.”

        (Family Guy, May 10, 2009)

        • Peter: “You’re Jewish, you’re good with money. I’m Irish, I drink and I
        ban homosexual from marching in my parade.”

        (Family Guy, December 10, 2004)

        • Lois learns that she is Jewish, and that her mother is a Holocaust survivor — whose last name was “Hebrewmoneygrabber.”

        (Family Guy, October 4, 2009)

        • Stewie attends Hebrew school.

        Stewie: “I have a question. What are you gonna do when Jesus comes back and puts a boot up your ass?”

        (Family Guy, October 4, 2009)

        •Lois, working as a phone-sex operator, takes a call from a stereotyped Jewish man (with a picture of a menorah on the wall behind him).

        Jewish man: “I want you to take your money out and count it really slowly.”

        When Lois reaches “10,” the man has a orgasm.

        (Family Guy, March 10, 2013)

        • Fran is irate because her son Steve can’t beat their Asian neighbors in school.

        Fran: “You have to win that National Spelling Bee so that you can go to a top college– and I can rub it in that Kabuki whore’s porcelain face!”

        Fran daubs war paint on Steve’s face.

        Fran: “You are good at nothing. But there are still minority quotas. Your name is Tatanka. Now I’m going to jump online and buy you a book about dealing blackjack.”

        (American Dad, March 29, 2013)

        • Lois tells Chris and Meg that Peter’s father was never comfortable with the fact
        that she’s not Catholic. A flashback to her wedding day shows the
        couple’s car with a “Just Married” banner on it. Just below is a sign
        that says “to a Protestant whore.”

        (Family Guy, September 30, 1999)

        • Peter’s father: “You’re a good woman, Lois. Perhaps you won’t burn in Hell after all. Maybe you’ll just go to Purgatory with all the unbaptized babies.”

        (Family Guy, September 30, 1999)

        • Peter’s father reads Stewie a story from the Bible:

        Father: “So God cast the pagans and sinners into the fiery bowels of Hell, where their flesh
        burned in agony, forever and ever. The end. Children love a good bedtime story from the Bible.”

        Brian: “Yes, charming, like when God told Abraham to kill Isaac.”

        (Family Guy, September 30, 1999)

        • Jesus Christ is shown as a teenager arguing with St. Joseph.

        Jesus: Up yours, Joseph! You’re not my real dad!”

        Jesus phones Heaven, where God answers. He is lying in bed with a woman. He hangs up on Jesus and leers at a woman, who holds up a condom.

        God: “Aw, c’mon, baby. It’s my birthday.”

        (Family Guy, November 20, 2005)

        • Alyssa invites Chris to join her at a Young Republicans meeting.

        Alyssa: “We perpetuate the ideal that Jesus chose America to destroy non-believers and brown people.”

        (Family Guy, April 30, 2006)

        • God is shown farting, then lighting the gas on fire. Peter explains that this is how God created the universe.

        (Family Guy, May 14, 2006)

        • Peter: “Jesus, which religion should our family be?”

        Jesus: “Six of one. They’re all complete crap.”

        (Family Guy, October 4, 2009)

        • Peter: “It’s the greatest story ever told, Meg. A story that goes back over 100 years. It’s the story of Christmas and the Immaculate Conception. You guys were born the dirty way. Now gather around, everybody, and hear the awe-inspiring tale that’s caused millions and millions of deaths!”

        Meg: “But Dad, I still don’t understand that whole Immaculate Conception thing. How can anyone get pregnant without having sex?”

        Peter: “Oh, there’s lots of stories of that, Meg. Cleveland’s got a cousin who had 8 girlfriends get pregnant, and he says he’s not responsible for a single one.” (Family Guy, December 23, 2012)

        You may respond that you specifically said that Mr. MacFarlane’s “public appearances prove that he is liberal, tolerant, and sensitive to racial and religious prejudice.” No doubt you refer to public appearances and statements like the following:

        • While hosting the 2012 Oscars ceremony on February 26, 2013, Seth MacFarlane sang a song titled, “We Saw Your Boobs” calling out specific actresses and then naming the movies in which they went topless:

        “We saw your boobs in the movie that’s what we saw we saw your boobs. Meryl Streep we saw them in Silkwood and Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive and Angelina we saw them in Gia. Anne Hathaway we saw them in Brokeback Mountain. And Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut and Marisa Tomei but not Jennifer Lawrence’s at all. We saw your boobs. We saw your boobs. Kristen Stewart we saw them On the Road and we saw Charlize Theron’s. Helen Hunt we saw them in The Sessions. Scarlett Johansson we saw them on our phones. Jessica Chastain we saw your boobs in Lawless. Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures and Hamlet and Titanic and whatever you’re in right now we saw your boobs. We saw your boobs, we saw your boobs.”

        • Also at the Oscars, MacFarlane called actress Jennifer Aniston “a former exotic dancer”; made fat jokes about singer Adele and actress Melissa McCarthy; and mocked anorexia: “For all those women who gave yourselves ‘the flu’ two weeks ago to ‘get there’? It paid off. Lookin’ good.” MacFarlane’s misogyny at the Oscars earned him rebukes from everyone from The New Yorker magazine, to the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, to actresses Jane Fonda, Geena Davis, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

        • At the Oscars, MacFarlane joked about Chris Brown beating Rihanna…

        MacFarlane: “Django Unchained. This is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman who has been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”

        •…made an “all those people look alike” remark about African-Americans…

        MacFarlane: “Denzel Washington has a great sense of humor. He did all those Nutty Professor movies.”

        •…a “Hispanics can’t speak English” joke about Latina actresses Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek…

        MacFarlane: “We have no idea what they’re saying, but we don’t care cause they’re so attractive.”

        •…and once again, referred to Jews as “controlling Hollywood.”

        Playing his teddy bear character Ted, MacFarlane asked Mark Wahlberg. “What about you? You’ve got a ‘berg’ on the end of your name. Are you Jewish?”

        Wahlberg: “Am I Jewish? No. Actually, I’m Catholic.”

        MacFarlane: “Wrong answer. Try again. Do you want to work in this town or don’t you?”

        MacFarlane/Ted: “I am Jewish. I was born Theodore Shapiro, and I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you. I am Jewish.”

        Wahlberg: “You’re an idiot.”

        MacFarlane/Ted: “We’ll see who’s an idiot when they give me my private plane at the next secret synagogue meeting.”

        MacFarlane’s remarks resulted in condemnations from both the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

        • During MacFarlane’s special Family Guy Presents Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show (November 8, 2009), Alex Borstein — whose mother and grandmother escaped the Nazis — refused to sing “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music because of Austria’s complicity in the Holocaust.

        MacFarlane: “But if none of that happened, how many Jewish comediennes would you be competing with? Right now, it’s you and Sarah Silverman.”

        Microsoft pulled its sponsorship of the special.

        • Referring to his use of racial and ethnic slurs, MacFarlane stated, “If I’m really being honest, then maybe there’s a part of me that’s stuck in high school and we’re laughing because we’re not supposed to. I don’t know the psychology. At the core, I know none of us gives a shit.” (The New Yorker, June 18, 2012)

        • “Do I have that much contempt for Christianity? I guess maybe I do.” (Family Guy season 4 DVD commentary track)

        • “Stay away from the church. In the battle over science vs. religion, science offers credible evidence for all the serious claims it makes. The church says, ‘Oh, it’s right here in this book, see?’ The one written by people who thought the sun was magic.” (speech to Harvard Class Day, June 7, 2006)

        • “If there is a joke that has to do with Jesus or somehow pokes fun at Christianity or Judaism or Islam or what not, usually that’s a problem for [the network]. I’m an atheist; so, I don’t give a shit.” (interview with Crave Online, October 6, 2008)

        • “If you say to [religious believers] ‘There’s a monster living in my closet, you can’t see him, but you gotta have faith that he’s there,’ people would say ‘Well, that’s ridiculous. You’re out of your mind. You should be locked up.’ But the same thing does not apply to a guy living on a cloud.” (Adam Carolla podcast, August 13, 2012)

        • “[The Parents Television Council] are literally terrible human beings. I’ve read their newsletter, I’ve visited their website, and they’re just rotten to the core. For an organization that prides itself on Christian values—I mean, I’m an atheist, so what do I know?—they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I’m concerned.” (interview in The Advocate, January 25, 2008)

        Thank you for your invitation to view Family Guy with you, your brother, and your father; but in my eight years at the PTC, I’ve already watched far more episodes of Family Guy than I cared to. And while you may disagree, I do not consider a parade of fart jokes, people being graphically murdered, and “humor” about child molestation and rape to constitute “hilarious writing.”

        You might gain a greater appreciation for “top-notch storytelling” and “fantastic animation” were you to broaden your horizons beyond Seth MacFarlane’s sleazy cartoons and watch films like Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Spirited Away; or Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy, Wall-E, and Up; or even classic Disneyana like Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

        A sense of discernment is required.

        Sincerely,

        Christopher Gildemeister

        • Tim
          January 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm

          I’d say for you, a sense of humor is required. A lot of the “racist” jokes on the show are lampooning people who still hold those kinds of views, or places where those views are prevalent. I agree with you that watching Pixar movies and Miyazaki’s works is fun, but bawdy humor is fun as well. You just come across as someone who hasn’t had a legitimate laugh in years.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            January 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

            Well…I guess we differ on what constitutes a “legitimate laugh,” Tim.

            If a constant deluge of ultra-graphic violence, crude sex commentary, and fart jokes are your idea of “humor,” you’re welcome to them. But it’s pretty clear that MacFarlane’s “humor” consists of attacking anyone who’s not a young, white, affluent, left-wing, sex-gore-and-toilet obsessed male exactly like him. Apparently, MacFarlane believes that spewing racism and anti-Semitic hate speech (along with those all-important fart jokes) is “satire.” By that standard, the KKK and 12-year-olds are the greatest comedians in America.
            I agree that bawdy humor can on occasion be fun…but not when it airs at 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, deliberately aimed at millions of pre-teen children.

            • Dan
              December 5, 2014 at 1:24 am

              Firstly, if Family Guy, and by extension, American Dad was aimed at “pre-teen” children the show would be at most a PG-13, so that argument is completely invalid.

              Secondly, you’re one of those people who seriously can’t see
              a joke for what it actually is but looks at it not with a pinch of salt but with a microscope aiming it only at the specific offensive characteristics. A person with an unfortunate case of “One-dimensional mind”.

              It may be offensive to some people but these people need to stop taking things personally and start realising that people do not care how much someone can be like “wah, I don’t like this I’m offended, people should not enjoy this because I don’t” because it’s just petty, not getting your way and crying about it.

              Just so you know, the people who cry about things which offend them aren’t very fun or interesting.

            • Christopher Gildemeister
              December 8, 2014 at 8:22 am

              Dan,

              Do you also write to GLAAD, or the NAACP, or NOW, and tell them that people who complain about homophobic portrayals of gays, or bigoted portrayals of African-Americans, or “jokes” about rape victims, are also just “petty, not getting their way and crying about it,” and aren’t “very fun or interesting”? If not, why not? Or is it that if people object to the same things YOU do, then they’re justified in complaining; but if they’re offended by things that don’t happen to offend you, then you’re happy to censor their opinions?

              Just curious.

            • Dan
              December 5, 2014 at 1:30 am

              Just so you know, I agree that there’sbetter written shows on tv nowadays and family guy does not really fall into the class of the earlier Simpsons seasons, but claiming something isn’t funny in anyway simply because it offends some people.

            • July 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm

              Are you a liberal? If you are, I now understand why you would take offense, comedy is meant as a joke! Do you really think that they would say stuff like that in real life??? NO! The answer is a big fat NO. It’s a joke, you can’t even take a joke. Most comedies cross a line, that’s what makes them funny.

    2. Dana
      July 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      I do not consider a parade of fart jokes, people being graphically murdered, and “humor” about child molestation and rape to constitute “hilarious writing.”–Neither do I! Sad truth is: It makes up the majority of all comedies written nowadays, and the writers of such drivel are trying to brainwash us all into thinking “Nah, it’s FUNNY!” so they won’t have to spend more money on quality TV writing. I for one will NEVER fall for it–especially when this drivel is ALL that is available on Broadcast and Cable shows–makes them all look the same, and that’s not only disgusting, it’s BORING!

      Also, I think Mary Poppins should be added to your list of “fantastic animation”! Who doesn’t love Dick Van Dyke dancing with cartoon penguins?

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        July 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

        Dana,

        You’re right. Mary Poppins should definitely be on the list!

        Thank you for your support.

        Christopher

      • Tim
        January 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

        Here is a quite novel idea. If you don’t like Family Guy or the humor presented thereon, watch the shows and movies that you like and don’t worry about what other people are watching. If children see the show, that’s the parents’ fault, not Seth MacFarlane’s. If your child has seen the shows, well, keep a better eye on your own kids.

        • Christopher Gildemeister
          January 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

          Tim,

          part of being a good parent is trying to make a better world for your children to live in. Would you say, “if you don’t like toxic waste being dumped into the water supply, don’t drink it”? If kids breathe polluted air, is that the parents’ fault, too? Or is it the fault of the owners of the factories who deliberately dump poison into the public air and water? Do you think those who manufacture harmful products, and then deliberately market them to children, should bear absolutely no responsibility for their actions?

          Saying “keep a better eye on your own kids” is a glib response, but in today’s world it’s totally unrealistic. Between internet at schools and libraries, Kindles, smartphones, et cetera, it’s almost impossible for parents to “keep an eye on” their kids every second of every minute of every day. Those who are responsible for making the pollution are responsible for its effects.

          Thanks for your comments.

          • Dan
            December 5, 2014 at 1:35 am

            It would be perfectly acceptable and ideal that people’s children grow up in an environment that is all sunshine and cereal box. But ultimately the world is not a nice place. No matter how hard you could try to “protect” your children from a toxic environment in the end it just ends up being futile.

    3. Mads Ulrik Gammelgaard
      January 30, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Wow people. Relax! Seth creates animated shows. Outrageous, over the top and completely FICTIONAL shows. I find them funny but understand if people don’t.

      What I can’t understand though is that people find it so difficult to seperate reality from fiction. If you can’t you shouldn’t watch TV In the first place…

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        January 31, 2014 at 8:47 am

        So basically, you’re saying no children should ever watch any TV at all. It should be reserved only for adults “sophisticated” enough to understand that it’s all fictional.

        Scientific studies have shown that children have difficulty separating TV imagery from reality. And certainly, teens and even adults can be INFLUENCED by what they see on TV; otherwise, why show commercials?

        MacFarlane’s shows tell viewers that rape and child molestation are funny, things that should be shrugged off and laughed at. And the Fox network goes out of its way to make these shows available to children, both in prime time Sunday nights and on the web.

        You may put all the onus on the viewer (just like the networks want you to). Others believe those who make and air the shows bear some responsibility for their products.

        • Mads Ulrik Gammelgaard
          February 3, 2014 at 8:45 am

          Well sure. Movies and television stir up feelings and can have images that stay with you, so I completely agree that shows and films with brutal imagery and adult themes should not be watched by kids (until they are about 14-16 years old depending on the kid). They don’t have the frame of reference to completely seperate fiction from reality and they may get scared or confused – but that’s it.

          I don’t agree that you get any values from a ridiculous and crass tv-show like Family Guy with a 21 minute run-time, no matter how old you are. You get your values from people that constantly affect you in real life, your community and friends, but most important of all, your parents.
          Parents are more responsible than anyone for how their kids turn out, not some goofy animator in California. It’s not FOX’s job to make sure that kids aren’t being exposed to stuff they don’t understand – that’s the parents job, and not with protest rallies but just by using a filter on computers and turning off the TV when a McFarlane show is on, maybe just talking to kids at their level and make sure they understand what they’re exposed to.

          Look. Rape, murder, incest, assault, theft and abuse is wrong. It doesn’t matter what shows you watch, what music you listen to or what religion you believe in, there are things you just do not do and the people who don’t understand that are not emotionally and spiritually connected with themselves or the world around them and that’s caused by bad parenting or mental illness, not a tv-show or Marilyn Manson.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            February 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

            Mads,

            your argument is premised on the notion that what people — particularly children — see and hear in the media has absolutely no influence on them. But the problem is this: if what children see and hear has no influence, then why does what their parents or teachers say matter? If “it doesn’t matter what shows you watch, what music you listen to, or what religion you believe in,” then why do you assume what parents say has any influence? Especially given that the average tween spends approximately 75 hours with media — TV, movies, magazines, the Web, etc. — a week, but only 35 to 40 hours in school.

            Children are deluged by the values in the media, far more than the values of their teachers — and in some cases, their parents. You’re basically assuming that parents have infinite power and influence over their children, and every other source to which they’re exposed has little or none.

            You mention a “21-minute run time.” But one episode of Family Guy isn’t the problem, any more than smoking one cigarette will give you lung cancer. It’s the endless onslaught of media from multiple sources constantly that causes the problem.

            Finally, I think your basic premise is flawed. The history of Western Europe, or for that matter the middle East, would seem to indicate that “what religion you believe in” does have some influence on how people behave.

            • Mads Ulrik Gammelgaard
              February 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

              Well it’s a complicated issue Chris, so I’m not saying, that I’m a 100% right (I’m Danish after all, so my insight in American society might be a bit limited – what works in Denmark might not necessarily work in the US).

              I mean what creates a personality with a certain set of values and morals anyway? I don’t know that anyone has definite answer to that one.
              So many factors play into this process, but strong influence from good parents enables kids to navigate through it all, letting them know right from wrong and reality from fantasy.
              That’s the point I’m trying to make. I’m not saying that parents have “infinite power”, but I am saying that they influence their kids personality more than anyone/anything else.

              I think you’re exaggerating the influence the media has on regular people, kids included. Americans are increasingly exposed to extreme, graphic violence, sexual imagery and general degeneracy in the media, but in fact violent crime is on the decline (1) in an inversely proportional manner.

              I do agree that the amount of time kids spend today in cyberspace is a bit concerning, but I’m more concerned about the obesity and diabetes it brings. I’m not going to argue though, that disturbed individuals couldn’t pick up some dellusional ideas in the media, and commit violent crimes based on these ideas.
              It’s nothing new after all. Mark Chapman read ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and decided to shoot Lennon, Hinckley watched ‘Taxi Driver’ and wanted to impress Jodie Foster by killing Reagan.
              But if I was an American I’d be less worried about the cultural impact of people like McFarlane and more worried about the availability of firearms and the budget cuts to mental health care. Just my humble opinion.

              I do agree with you on some level though. Values and accepted behaviour in a society are subject to change, so I think it’s good to have these discussions. As you point out massive media exposure could gradually chip away at the moral core of a society. I just don’t think we’re quite there yet.
              I mean; I’m a peaceful medical student who loves animals and volunteers as a teacher for troubled inner city kids and I grew up watching South Park and horror/slasher movies, I played extremely violent video games, listened to death metal and read books like American Psycho.
              I don’t know that I ever got anything from those experiences other than a fun time.

              1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/150464/americans-believe-crime-worsening.aspx)

              Ps. I don’t think my premise is flawed regarding religion. “How people behave” is more about culture than anything else. Religions have always been abused by people in power to stay in control, so when Saudi woman can’t ride a bike for ‘religious reasons’, it’s got nothing to do with the Koran.
              Religious scriptures are often so ambiguous that they allow people to interpret them how they want. As you point out, history has definitely shown that the Bible can be used for both good and evil.

    4. Chris thynne
      October 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Seth macfarlane was the only person to try and publicly name and shame harvey weinstein 5 years before anything was actually done about it. What a bad guy seth really is….not

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