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Family Guy on Fox
The Fox network is hardly known
for its classy and family-friendly programming; but the lowlights of Fox’s week
are the raunchy and offensive cartoons Family Guy and American Dad.
Showcasing bloody violence and “humorous” references to rape, child
molestation and other sexual perversions, on Sunday May 10th Fox once
again fouled the 9:00 p.m. ET hour with a Family Guy satirizing three
stories by horror author Stephen King. For bloodshed and sexual references
Family Guy has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
The episode opens with Peter
introducing three parodies of Stephen King stories. In the first, a parody of
Stand By Me, a group of boys gather in a treehouse, swilling beer and
looking at Playboy magazines, as Peter’s voice-over states,“ 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.” Barely a minute into the show, and viewers are subjected to a joke
combining child sex and rape – scarcely ideal programming for a program that
airs at 8:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones.
But MacFarlane and crew are
just getting started. When the African-American Cleveland enters the clubhouse,
the gang orders him to re-enter in a more stereotyped manner: “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,” Cleveland obediently responds. Of
course, decades ago this kind racist of humor was common; but after the
sacrifices and hard-won gains of the Civil Rights movement, it fell out of
favor. Now, however, Family Guy is exposing an entire new generation to
stereotyped racist “humor.”
also treats viewers to his typical doses of bloody violence in its parody of
Misery, with Stewie firing 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. “Now I'm gonna have to
spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” Joe moans. “No, you're not” replies
Baby Stewie, as he fires a shotgun at Joe's head. Blood vividly splatters
The final segment satirizes
The Shawshank Redemption. Replete with multiple references to excrement and
rape, the low point of this segment shows the prison warden throwing a rock at a
poster of David Cassidy (who is positioned so that his posterior looms large at
the viewer). The rock cuts a small hole on the picture’s rear where Cassidy’s
anus would be. The warden pokes his finger in and out of the hole, then sticks
his arm further in.
For its violence, sexual
references and contribution to the coarsening of contemporary culture, Family
Guy has earned the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.