On Sunday, Fox will air its long-
promised threatened Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode and, because cartoons are edgy, it will feature a joke that involves the word "rape." The comedy police have been dispatched.
Parents groups are upset. Petitions are circulating. One professional Parent even told CBS that the joke is especially insensitive in light of Ray Rice and campus rape and other issues of violence against women in the news. Here's the joke:
It punctuates a scene in which the incorrigible Bart is instructing Stewie Griffin in the art of the prank phone call. Bart dials the owner of Moe's Tavern and asks whether there is anyone there with the last name Keybum, first name Lee. When Moe calls out to his patrons, asking for a "leaky bum," everyone gets a laugh.
Stewie thinks that's cool, and asks to make his own prank call.
"Hello, Moe?" he says. "Your sister's being raped."
The punch line here is that Stewie is an idiot who sucks at jokes and has no sense of what's appropriate to a comical degree, not that Moe's theoretical sister is being sexually assaulted. Using the word "rape" in a joke isn't automatically gross. Also, they're cartoons. If Fox aired an episode where Peter Griffin butchers Quagmire's cat barely out of frame, they're not going to back down because a baby says "rape."
Of course, this controversy ignores the most offensive aspect of the entire debacle, which is that in a few days, we will no longer live in a world where crossover episode between Family Guy and The Simpsons does not exist.
Image via screengrab