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Film and TV

Family Guy won’t be phasing out jokes about gay people anytime soon, according to Peter Griffin

Nick Duffy October 22, 2019
2009 Family Guy episode "Road to the Multiverse" featured the Universe of Homosexual Men, populated by naked gay men

2009 Family Guy episode "Road to the Multiverse" featured the Universe of Homosexual Men, populated by naked gay men

Family Guy has made clear that it will not stop making jokes about gay people.

The show’s October 20 episode ‘Disney’s The Reboot’ featured a gag about Peter’s sexuality, followed by a scene in which a character asks: “I thought I read you guys were phasing out gay jokes?”

Peter responds: “That quote was taken out of context and widely misunderstood.”

The meta moment was a very direct reply to reports that the show, which has featured both positive LGBT+ storylines and anti-LGBT gags over the years, would be “phasing out” gay jokes.

Family Guy producers had said that approach to gay jokes has evolved.

The show itself sparked the reports in January, after an episode in which Peter responds to accusations that many children have learned their favourite Jewish, black and gay jokes by watching your show over the years” by retorting: “In fairness, we’ve been trying to phase out the gay stuff.”

At the time, the show’s producers confirmed to TVLine that the quip was more than just a gag.

Asked if the line was serious, executive producer Alec Sulkin said: “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.”

2013 Family Guy episode No Country Club for Old Men featured a gay sequence
2013 Family Guy episode No Country Club for Old Men featured a gay sequence

Executive producer Rich Appel added: “It’s almost unique to Family Guy, though I can think of one other show [The Simpsons] 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.”

It’s unclear how exactly a direct reference on the show itself followed by interviews with two executive producers could possibly have been “misunderstood”.

Long-running show resumes LGBT+ storylines.

However, the show has wasted no time in making clear that LGBT+ people are still firmly under the microscope.

The show came under fire earlier this month for transphobic jokes, with the latest episode also taking aim at “network TV gays”.

More: Family Guy, gay jokes, LGBT, peter griffin

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