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July 26, 2010

Re-Airing Of Problematic Antitrans Family Guy Episode

Posted in: Uncategorized

Image: Screenshot From Family Guy of Quagmire's Dad And Quagmire; Link: GLAAD's Fox Planning to Re-Air Problematic Episode of Family GuyWhile I was on the road last night from Las Vegas (where NetRoots Nation 2010 was held) to San Diego (the city I call home sweet home), Fox Television re-aired a problematic Family Guy episode that they had promised the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the transgender community that they would not air again.

From the glaadBLOG‘s Fox Planning to Re-Air Problematic Episode of Family Guy:

In May, Fox aired a highly offensive episode of Family Guy in which Quagmire’s dad transitioned to become a woman named Ida and featured numerous jokes that were offensive to the transgender community. GLAAD reached out to Fox and asked that the episode not re-air. Despite this, GLAAD has learned that Fox will re-air the “Quagmire’s Dad” episode of Family Guy this Sunday, July 25.

Earlier this month, Fox also opted to re-air the problematic “A Brown Thanksgiving” episode of The Cleveland Show, despite assuring GLAAD that the episode would not be shown again during meetings that followed its original airing.

Image: Screenshot From Family Guy of Quagmire's Dad; Link: GLAAD's Fox Planning to Re-Air Problematic Episode of Family GuyThe “Quagmire’s Dad” Family Guy episode featured scenes such as one in which food prepared by Ida is thrown in the trash by Lois Griffin and another in which Brian Griffin vomits after having sex with Ida and learning about her gender identity. Community members also expressed concern about a later scene that draws a connection between transgender people and sex offenders.

Per Wikipedia, Seth MacFarlane is an American animator, writer, producer, actor, singer, voice actor, and director best known for creating the animated sitcoms Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show. He is also an executive producer for both Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, and 20th Century Fox Television is the common production company for both shows. So, there are common production relationships for both of these animated shows with problematic, antitrans episodes — episodes with male characters that barfed for extended periods of time after realizing they’ve had sex with a transgender female character.

From the rest of the glaadBLOG entry on the re-airing of the Family Guy episode:

Fox is aware that this episode was in poor taste and was not well-received by the LGBT community. In addition to GLAAD’s outreach, the story was covered throughout the LGBT blog community, most notably in an AfterElton article that quoted Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane saying the episode was “probably the most sympathetic portrayal of a transexual character that has ever been on television.”

Yesterday, GLAAD released its fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of LGBT people on television. In the report, GLAAD gave Fox an “Adequate” rating. While 30% of the network’s primetime programming in the 2009-2010 season was LGBT inclusive, the report noted that offensive episodes of shows like Family Guy and Cleveland Show hold back the network’s progress on fairness.

As ABC News noted:

…despite welcoming gay teen storylines on hit musical comedy “Glee” on Fox, and the appointment of lesbian Ellen DeGeneres as a judge on “American Idol”, the Fox network was slammed for offensive stereotypes on “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show”. GLAAD said that on both animated series last season, characters vomited at the thought of having sex with a transgender woman.

GLAAD is continuing to call for meetings with Fox to remove this highly problematic episode from future airings and ask Seth MacFarlane to address the public response to this episode from the gay and transgender community.

We urge you to do the same and write to Fox with your concerns:

Tracey Raftery, Publicist – Family Guy, Tracey.Raftery@fox.com.

If GLAAD is accurately reporting that Fox Entertainment said that they would not re-air the problematic episodes of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show — and I tend to believe GLAAD wouldn’t make something like that up — then that would make the folk at Fox Entertainment liars. And as part of the community that is being demeaned by Seth MacFarlane’s and 20th Century Fox Television depictions of trans people as being vomit worthy, I plan on sending an email.

If Mr. MacFarlane and company want to meet a real trans person who will tell them that their portrayals of trans women have been as f***ed up as a sh**-gravy sandwich, my Pam’s House Blend e-mail address is public, and I’m available to talk face-to-face with them.


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