The long-running animated TV show Family Guy says they’ll be ‘phasing out’ gay jokes.
Seth MacFarlane first created the show in 1999, and it often skewers timely topics and features celebrity guests. Their most recent episode, airing Sunday (13 January), was titled Trump Guy and did not hold back against Donald Trump.
In the episode, Trump hires lead character and father Peter Griffin as his press secretary.
After Trump sexually assaults Peter’s daughter, Meg, however, the two men begin brawling. During an exchange between them, the show revealed its own self-awareness and evolution.
‘Many children have learned their favorite Jewish, black and gay jokes by watching your show over the years,’ Trump yells as Peter as they fight.
‘In fairness, we’ve been trying to phase out the gay stuff. But you know what? We’re a cartoon, you’re the president.’
Times have changed
Executive producers Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin spoke with TVLine following the episode’s airing.
‘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 said.
He doubled-down on Peter’s own words in the episode: ‘Some of the things we felt comfortable saying and joking about back then, we now understand is not acceptable.’
Appel continued, stating it’s not about the culture disallowing them from telling certain jokes, but that the creative team has changed too.
‘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,’ he commented.
In an episode last March, youngest child of the family, Stewie Griffin, spoke about his sexuality to a therapist played by Ian McKellen.
Nothing was ultimately confirmed (except for the fact that Stewie’s British accent is fake), leaving some fans disappointed, but it was the first time the show ever seriously addressed the idea.