Revenge of the Seth25 Jul, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
Pushing the envelope isn’t anything new for “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, but even when Fox network executives reach their limits, there is still DVD.
“We just did an abortion episode,” MacFarlane told a crowd at an event in May. “[The network] called us and was waffling, but they let us take it through the initial production. … ‘We’ll let you release it on DVD, but we won’t air it.’”
But nothing trips the censors like religious issues.
“We did a bit where Jesus is at the Last Supper, and he says, ‘Drink this all of you’ … and when he says, ‘This is my blood,’ they all do this vaudevillian spit,” MacFarlane says. “[The network] said, ‘No way.’ That’s always frustrating. We put it on our DVD. That’s the best we could do.”
MacFarlane says animation may be the last bastion of controversial comedy.
“To a certain extent, it’s the only medium that skirts under the radar,” he says.
“Family Guy” was famously canceled in 2002, only to be brought back due to huge DVD sales and good syndication ratings. The show, recently nominated for a best comedy series Emmy, is now slated to run through at least 2012 and is getting a spinoff, “The Cleveland Show,” this fall.
“It’s a weird thing,” MacFarlane says. “If something’s doing well [but is considered offensive, the networks are] kind of at odds with themselves.”