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Family Guy Changing Its Tune on Gay Jokes

Executive producers say line about phasing them out in most recent episode is 'kind of' true
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2019 1:19 PM CST
In this image released by Fox Broadcasting, the Griffin family characters from "The Family Guy," from left, Brian, Lois, Peter, Stewie, Brian and Meg are shown.   (AP Photo/Fox Broadcasting)

(Newser) Family Guy won't be joking around about homosexuality anymore. In a recent TVLine interview (which was mostly focused on Sunday's President Trump-centric episode), the executive producers of the animated sitcom were asked about a line in the episode in which Peter tells Trump the show is "trying to phase out [gay jokes]." Is that true in reality? "Kind of, yes," Alec Sulkin replied. "If you look at a show from 2005 or 2006 and put it side by side with a show from 2018 or 2019, they’re going to have a few differences. Some of the things we felt comfortable saying and joking about back then, we now understand is not acceptable."

Added Rich Appel, "If a show has literally been on the air for 20 years, the culture changes. And it’s not us reacting and thinking, 'They won’t let us [say certain things].' No, we’ve changed, too. The climate is different, the culture is different and our views are different. They’ve been shaped by the reality around us, so I think the show has to shift and evolve in a lot of different ways." The Advocate's response: "Has hell frozen over?" As the Hollywood Reporter explains, the Seth MacFarlane-created comedy has had a running gag over its 17 years on the air involving gay jokes at the expense of baby of the family Stewie Griffin. (There was a sweet backstory to Smithers coming out on The Simpsons.)

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