• Seth MacFarlane Remembers Newtown

    by  • December 17, 2013 • Broadcast Decency, Sex, Violence, Worst of the Week • 15 Comments

    fgimg1A child shot in the head. This is how Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane remembered the anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown last Sunday night.

    No wonder the December 15th episode of Fox’s Family Guy (9:00 p.m. ET) is the Worst TV Show of the Week.

    The creator of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane, wasted no time in showing the heinous child murder. In the opening seconds of the Family Guy episode, the family is shown watching the movie Home Alone. In the actual Home Alone, a young boy humorously foils a pair of burglars with tricks such as scattering toy cars on the floor and ice on the stairs. In MacFarlane’s version, the burglars notice the tricks immediately and avoid them. When the little boy appears at the top of the stairs, one burglar whirls and shoots him in the middle of the forehead, blood spraying out and coating the wall behind the little boy. The child’s corpse tumbles down the stairs, then lies at the burglar’s feet. Blood has dribbled down the boy’s face and covers his entire chest. The child’s corpse lies, twisted and broken with mouth agape, at the robbers’ feet. “Well, now there are no witnesses,” one shrugs.

    Family Guy Video Clip

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    In our new study of media violence, the PTC found that the most violent shows on broadcast TV have essentially similar levels of violence as the most violent cable TV shows, rendering untrue the popular assumption that broadcast TV is a “safer” media environment for children. Yet, even most violent cable programs would not show a little child being shot in the head; and if they did (on such programs as The Walking Dead), it would not be treated as a subject of humor. Thus, this is yet another case when prime-time broadcast TV is even worse than graphic cable programming.

    It’s worth noting that this episode appeared almost to the day of the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut – and two days after another school shooting in Colorado. That Seth MacFarlane is utterly insensitive to genuine tragedy has, of course, been proven over the course of a decade’s worth of Family Guy. But choosing to show a child being murdered on the anniversary of a mass murder of children appears calculated and deliberate. Thus, MacFarlane demonstrates his total contempt and lack of concern for grieving parents and terrified children.

    MacFarlane would protest that this is “comedy” and “satire.” But what kind of depraved mind considers the murder of children humorous? And what kind of network deliberately shows a cartoon containing such programming – then rates it TV-14, acceptable for young teens who are barely out of childhood themselves? (This demonstrates another finding of PTC’s study – that the TV ratings system is failing to protect children and families due to the fact that the broadcast networks are assigning a younger age rating than similarly violent programs on cable.)

    Millions of children watch Family Guy every Sunday night. Obviously, both Seth MacFarlane and the Fox network think it is appropriate to show little children images of little children being shot in the head — on the anniversary of a tragic school shooting in which more than a dozen real children were shot and killed.

    For terrorizing millions of children by showing a child being murdered, Fox’s Family Guy is the Worst TV Show of the Week.

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    To help the PTC fight Seth MacFarlane’s filth, click here.

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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.

    15 Responses to Seth MacFarlane Remembers Newtown

    1. Daniel Bickel
      December 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Wow! Someone is playing to many video games… I sure hope kids are not being shot in x box games. This is really disturbed… Not cool. Very much not the way we as a society are going to combat violence.

      • Marion Bilek
        December 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        Seth MacFarland is a sick man. His type of humor is sadistic, but the TV station showing it is more sick. It also shows this author SM lacks any talent and uses shock to tell his stupid stories. Anyone watching this show is totally clueless. of the sorrow a parent feels upon the loss of a child. This may be a cartoon, but it is no less offensive.

      • Barbie P
        November 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

        And Seth McFarlane is born and raised here in Connecticut. Just found thus article.

    2. jeanne waliczek
      December 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Wow, seriously?! How does a parent watch this and not be reviled? I pray this for them: “… finally, brothers and sisters: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8

    3. George W Keitt Jr
      December 18, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      This is way over the top stupidity or a calculated move to trivialize life. In either case, it has no business on the air, especially during prime time. Microsoft should hang their heads in shame for being associated with it. Somebody has let them down terribly either by not paying attention or by agreeing to it knowingly.

    4. Patricia Davis
      December 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      America seems to have lost or released all concern for the original intent of pleasant wonder in entertainment. It’s time to realize the severity of the threatening presence in movies & TV and let us return to safe innocence.

    5. Richard Arnoth
      December 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      UNTHINKABLE!!!

    6. dustin
      December 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      I have seen kids playing way worse games and the show is not made for kids it is the parents responsibility to keep it off there TV I remember way worse TV shows like red and Stimpy Beavis and Butthead when I was a kid and it have no effect on me and Im parents and none of you have the right to judge the people that watch this show or Seth MacFarlane himself

    7. Sam
      December 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

      This is NOT a joke about Newtown. This is a joke about how Home Alone would be presented if the burglars would be actually smart. The joke is not that the child was shot, it was about how it was what any sensible burglar would do.

      Try to look at it from a different perspective.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        January 9, 2014 at 9:15 am

        The scene showed a little boy being shot, blood gushing out of his chest, his corpse tumbling down the stairs, and the burglar shooting him again in the head…on a program that airs in prime time on Sunday night, with millions of children watching.

        Try to look at it from that perspective.

      • Bobaloo
        March 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

        What Christopher stated. Yes, I understand that this could be seen as a parody of “Home Alone,” and yes, I understand that sometimes in real life burglars – hoping not to get caught – will shoot and sometimes kill any witnesses. But the way this was depicted was sadistic, and as Christopher writes, had in the very least potentially a large audience of children watching.

    8. J eagle
      August 25, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      If u dont like it why dont u change the channel insted of bitchin about seth macfarlane there are other shows on sunday to watch sputh park has a much higher shock value and u ppl lack any sense of humor what so ever

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        August 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

        If you don’t like what we say, why don’t you read another blog, instead of complaining about this one?

        And learn to spell.

    9. Averagedude
      July 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Good, now there’ll be no witnesses. Two seconds later, I was the most cracked up man in the entire bloody planet. Seth Macfarlane is a genius. Don’t like it, keep your children away from it, but he has the same right to joke about whatever he feels like as you have to rant about it

      • Jay
        January 18, 2017 at 1:59 pm

        Yeah…. He’s a sick, twisted evil “genius”. Anyone who thinks this is remotely hilarious needs to reevaluate themselves.

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