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Film and TV

Family Guy’s ‘transphobic’ storyline just got a whole lot worse

Emma Powys Maurice October 7, 2019

Family Guy takes aim at transgender people yet again (YouTube/@acooldany10)

Family Guy has doubled down on its ‘transphobic’ jokes despite previously promising to “phase out” some of the show’s more politically incorrect material.

The long-running animated Fox comedy series has frequently made LGBT+ people the butt of jokes over the years, attracting criticism for relying on offensive stereotypes.

Earlier this year the show’s creators hinted that they would be seeking a more tolerant path by phasing out the anti-gay jokes, which they “now understand [are] not acceptable”.

But it seems this tolerance doesn’t extend to transgender people, who were once again targeted in the episode “Bri-Da,” broadcast on October 6.

It features Quagmire’s transgender mother Ida, who is looking at pornographic images on her phone while sitting at a bar. The bartender tells her, “Excuse me, ma’am, no porn at the bar.” Ida replies: “Oh, it’s OK, I’m transgender.”

 

“Oh, I had no idea,” the bartender apologises, “Do whatever you want all the time.”

The episode then sees Brian resume his sexual relationship with Ida, taking her to a restaurant where a waiter desperately tries to figure out whether Ida is a woman or not.

The couple later go back to a hotel but Brian worries somebody will discover he is having “goofball sex” when room service comes to the door. He only decides to go public with the relationship after his family tells him it’s 2019 and “things that were gross five years ago are now heroic”.

The author Amanda Jette Knox, who is the mother of a transgender child, shared her disappointment at the episode. She tweeted: “I decided to give Family Guy & @SethMacFarlane the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe it wasn’t as bad people were saying.

“Nope. I was wrong. This is actually super awful and transphobic. As a mom of a trans kid who loves this show, I’m disappointed.

“I use comedy in a lot of my writing and speaking. My youngest is a stand-up comedian who’s been approached by Hollywood more than once to do national stand-up. We laugh ALL the time. This? This is just punching down. It’s cheap and discriminatory. Comedy can be better than this.”

Peter decides to be a transgender woman in season 17 episode 13 (YouTube/Family Guy)

Transgender people were also mocked in a previous episode, ‘Trans-fat‘, in which Peter Griffin decides to become transgender after using a women’s bathroom because the line was shorter.

Peter is pleased to get special privileges for his new identity, including free peanuts, new female friends and extra time off work.

He changes his outlook after having a conversation with Ida about what it really means to be transgender. He then apologises to her and acknowledges the struggle she went through.

After it aired, Family Guy was accused of “bowing to PC culture” by attempting to “promote and normalise transgenders”. It seems the show has now swung back in the opposite direction to appease its audience.

More: Family Guy, Fox, transphobia on TV

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