Sarah Palin vs. ‘Family Guy’: Seth MacFarlane responds (sort of)


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It was the half-sentence of dialogue heard ‘round the world.

If you missed ‘Family Guy’ on Sunday, chances are you still know what we are talking about because Sarah Palin has made it hard to miss. The episode featured the dim-witted Chris going on a date with a young woman with Down syndrome, who refers to herself as the daughter of ‘the former governor of Alaska.’ Palin’s son, Trig, has Down syndrome.

Palin took to her Facebook page to protest ‘Fox Hollywood,’ her term of endearment for the broadcast network — not to be mistaken with cable network Fox News, where she currently works as a paid commentator.


‘People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut,’ she wrote. ‘Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, ‘When is enough, enough?’’

She then pasted her daughter’s reply:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.’

The Times asked ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane for an interview regarding the matter. But he opted to send a statement via his publicist: ‘From its inception, ‘Family Guy’ has used biting satire as the foundation of its humor. The show is an ‘equal-opportunity offender.’

Perhaps he was concerned his reply would be longer than the scene in question.

— Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Video: Musical number in the ‘Family Guy’ episode in question. Credit. Hulu.