The joke Family Guy wants to ‘phase out’
FAMILY Guy is taking steps to bring its humour into 2019.
On this week's divisive Trump-filled episode, Peter Griffin (Seth Macfarlane) told President Trump (guest star Josh Robert Thompson) that Family Guy has been "trying to phase out" gay jokes in order to become more tolerant.
After the episode aired, executive producers Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin confirmed to TVLine that Peter's meta-commentary is true, and they promised that the long-running comedy is attempting to "evolve" and adjust to "the reality around us".
During Sunday's episode, aptly titled "Trump Guy", Peter is hired as Trump's press secretary, but he quits after Trump sexually assaults his daughter Meg.
When he confronts Trump, telling the president that he should be better than "a guy from Rhode Island," Trump reminds him that he's much more than that.
"You're not just a guy from Rhode Island. You're Peter Griffin from Family Guy," says the Trump character. "Many children have learned their favourite Jewish, black and gay jokes by watching your show over the years."
Peter acknowledges Trump's statement, saying, "In fairness, we've been trying to phase out the gay stuff," but adds that unlike the President, "We're a cartoon. You can turn us off. You're the President. We can't turn you off!"
When asked about the moment, Appel and Sulkin said that Peter is correct: They are phasing out gay jokes.
"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," Sulkin said. "Some of the things we felt comfortable saying and joking about back then, we now understand is not acceptable."
Appel said: "If a show has literally been on the air for 20 years, the culture changes."
(Family Guy first premiered in 1999.)
"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 evolved in a lot of different ways."
This article originally appeared on Decider and is reproduced with permission