Last night, Emmy voters were treated to a private table reading of the unaired Family Guy "abortion episode." Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post reported the show had "an antiabortion message," but clips suggest otherwise.
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In the episode, which FOX declined to air, Lois decides to act as a surrogate for an old friend. When the friend and her husband are killed in a car crash, she considers an abortion. In the clip above, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane reads the role of Peter, who has decided he's anti-abortion after listening to some protesters outside a clinic. He says, "If God wanted us to kill babies, he'd make them all Chinese girls." Later, he argues that "to kill any living thing is an abortion, that's what the man I just met outside the clinic told me, and he had a t-shirt on to confirm it."
Peter Griffin is hardly a nuanced political commentator, and no regular Family Guy viewer would take his words seriously. At the same time, portraying anti-choice views in the most racist and ignorant language possible is hardly an "anti-abortion message" (we wonder who was the "company source" who told de Moraes this, and what ax he/she had to grind). It's also not that funny. The "Chinese girls" joke appears to get a big laugh at the table reading — maybe you had to be there. Peter's response to the question, "What if a woman is raped?" — "Maybe she should have thought about that before she asked me for directions" — is even less amusing. Then there's McFarlane's claim that another unaired episode reveals baby Stewie is gay:
we decided it's better to keep it vague, which makes more sense because he's a 1-year-old. Ultimately, Stewie will be gay or a very unhappy repressed heterosexual. It also explains why he's so hellbent on killing [his mother, Lois] and taking over the world: He has a lot of aggression, which comes from confusion and uncertainty about his orientation.
Gabe of Videogum responds,
the worst part about this whole thing is that since they canceled the episode in which Stewie "comes out," the only thing that actually makes him gay is Seth MacFarlane alone in the recording booth thinking "this is a gay person's voice." Hmmm, that might not actually be the worst part. The worst part might still be the sentence "it also explains why he's so hellbent on killing his mother and taking over the world."
In the interview above, McFarlane calls the abortion episode "edgy and controversial," and goes on to say that "Family Guy tends to be very liberal, because it's written by liberals" but that the creators were looking for ways to "give the other side some face time." The abortion episode doesn't really do that — but McFarlane's jokes about Chinese girls, and his assumption that gay men (or babies?) want to kill their mothers, don't make liberals look very good either.
'Family Guy' Abortion Episode Table Read (Video) [The Live Feed]
The Banned 'Family Guy' Episode [Daily Beast]
Stewie Is Gay, Says Awful, Awful Seth MacFarlane [Videogum]
'Family Guy's' Look At The Lighter Side Of Abortion [Washington Post]
Seth MacFarlane Outs Baby Stewie In 'Family Guy': He's Gay, MacFarlane Says In Playboy Interview [NY Daily News]