Metro Weekly

“Family Guy” Seth MacFarlane surprised by gays’ negative reaction to transgender episode [video]

”The ridiculous thing about something like Prop 8 is that it will be overturned. They put something like $40 million into that campaign, and they might as well have just bet all that money on the Red Sox…. Every civil-rights conflict—black people, women—comes to an end in the right way….”

”[The unhappy reaction to our transgender character] surprised me. I don’t meet a lot of stupid homosexuals. They seem to be a pretty smart bunch. But it seemed that they were not picking up on the fact that it was a very sympathetic portrayal of a transsexual character….  Look, Brian happens to be a heterosexual character, as I am. If I found out that I had slept with a transsexual, I might throw up in the same way that a gay guy looks at a vagina and goes, ‘Oh, my God, that’s disgusting.”’

Seth MacFarlane, the very funny and productive creator of several animated TV shows including “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show.” The shows regularly features gay-themed jokes, many of which are quite raunchy for programs that are broadcast over-the-air on Sunday evenings. (Details)

MacFarlane has publicly championed gay rights in the past, and also run afoul of conservative Christian groups for including explicitly gay material.

However, a recent episode titled “Quagmire’s Dad” shocked some of “Family Guy’s” gay fans with a storyline about the title character having to accept his military father’s feminine manerisms. Quagmire’s father explains to him that he’s not gay, but is a “woman trapped in a man’s body” and is going to have a sex change. The show’s main family characters display virtually no sympathy for their neighbor, referring to the newly out “Ida” as “odd” and a “he-she” who is having her penis “lopped off.” At a post-surgery dinner, they invite Ida and Quagmire to come over, but throw out a dessert that she contributes. That’s followed with lots of rude comments about gender reassignment surgery. Quagmire and Ida have a falling out, and Ida leaves to go to a bar. There she meets the family’s male dog, Brian. They talk, then kiss (and assumably have sex). But when the family finds out Brian has fallen for Ida, they laugh at him. Once Brian connects Ida to Quagmire, he engages in a 40-second vomiting gag. Later, Brian is seen panting and washing desperately. In the meantime, Quagmire reconnects with Ida. But when she tells him about Brian, Quagmire rushes next door to beat the dog to a pulp. 

In the larger context of the show’s regular over-the-top insults, none of this material is particularly out of the ordinary. But it may have struck some, knowing that MacFarlane is supportive of LGBT rights, to have been excessively insensitive. Apparently, MacFarlane sees the episode as being quite the opposite. (Family Guy / FOX)

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!