Family Guy executive producers have announced that they are going to start phasing out gay jokes from the adult cartoon show.
In an interview with TVLine, which primarily addressed a recent episode of Family Guy where they lampoon President Donald Trump, Executive Producers Alec Sulkin and Rich Appel confirmed they were phasing out gay jokes.
Sulkin told TVLine:
“Kind of, yes. 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.”
Appel echoed Sulkin:
“It’s almost unique to Family Guy, though I can think of one other show that’s been on the air longer. But 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.”
Fans of the show might remember that jokes such as these have been used as plot devices to help introduce other LBGT characters such as transexual Ida Quagmire. So what worked in the 2010 episode now, in theory, wouldn’t fly based on their new standards for the show.
For those who don’t remember, the news of Dan Quagmire, decorated war veteran transition into Ida Quagmire was mired in jokes, both gay and not gay. But now with what the pair have said. It’s safe to guess that that episode would either not have been made, or would have been made very differently if created today.
In the interview, Appel and Sulkin don’t mention any other topics that they are trying to phase, indicating this seems to only apply to gay jokes.
As for political jokes, Sulkin indicates they aren’t afraid to “take hard shots all around.”
“We’ve had some episodes in the past that had some left leanings in them, but we take hard shots all around. We’ve made fun of the Clintons and Barack Obama. It’s not like we would avoid anyone because we vote this way or that way. In any time that Family Guyhas been on, we’ve pointed out idiots and the dumb things they do. This just happens to be our current person, and it would be no different if a Democrat were doing something idiotic, which they do.”
As of right now, we know that one special interest group appears to be off-limits to the Executive Producers of Family Guy. It’s only a matter of time before more groups get this special treatment.
Gay jokes have become a hot topic as of late. Kevin Hart recently faced severe criticism for old gay jokes in his stand-up routine. The criticism saw Hart step down as the host of the Oscars. In fact, Ellen DeGeneres would even face a backlash for defending Hart!
As someone who’s watched the show on and off since 1999, I’m not a fan of this type of self-serving self-censorship especially in comedy. What do you all think? Does this shift in policy spell bad news for the long-running TV series? Let me know in the comments below!