It’s so heavy-handed, it’s light on funny.[The Hollywood Reporter]
Has Family Guy finally crossed the line?
For those of you who may have assumed that Seth MacFarlane and company care naught for lines and socially upheld norms of decency, here’s more proof! In an ad targeting Emmy voters to consider Family Guy among the select nominees heralded as TV’s Best Comedy Series, the show’s producers have sent out a mailer featuring main character Peter Griffin asking “overprivileged Brentwood Jews” to vote for them. Stewie then pops up on the next page to say, “You can still tell people you voted for Modern Family.”
Needless to say, not everyone was amused, which you should probably always assume is the case with anything Seth MacFarlane and his cohort of writer-producers at Family Guy do. One producer complained that, “While I think Family Guy is a genuinely funny show, we all — including this ‘Brentwood Jew’ — need to think twice about this kind of humor. Stereotyping any particular ethnic group is just not cool and can lead others (with the wrong intentions) to feel a certain license to take shots. Surely Seth [MacFarlane] has better stuff than this.”
Another hit back at the ad with, “If Family Guy was that funny on a regular basis, it might get nominated.”
For the record, the show is standing by its mailer, which I suppose has gotten exactly the kind of reaction from Emmy voters that it wanted. It probably bears mentioning that most of the writer-producers on Family Guy are, in fact, Jewish, though apparently self-deprecatingly so. (If you’ve ever listened to the DVD commentary, you’ll know exactly what I mean) The show is in a creative funk – though I admit the season finale was nicely done – and with MacFarlane lamenting that he wishes the show would wrap up, here’s a bit of controversy to goad viewers on for the upcoming 11th season.
So the question is: will you be tuning in? And is the mailer offensive or funny? Or both?