If a joke gets attention, why change the formula?
Fox’s long-controversial ‘Family Guy,’ which parodied Sarah Palin several weeks ago, may revisit Palin as a comedy device, says its creator Seth MacFarlane several weeks after the politician criticized the animated show for poor taste.
“My guess is we will probably be back to her in the future,” MacFarlane told Fancast at Tuesday’s PaleyFest 2010 in L.A., before a panel for his shows ‘Family Guy,’ ‘American Dad,’ and ‘The Cleveland Show.’ “If she does something incredibly stupid, we will make a joke about it. That’s the case with her or with any politician.”
MacFarlane explained, “But we won’t go out of our way to do it. But in general – is it funny? Is it so far out of line that it just makes us look like jerks? We did not think that this fell into that category, and we still don’t.”
MacFarlane is referring to when ‘Family Guy’ made headlines a few weeks back after former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska governor Palin said that a recent episode offended her and her family because a character with Down syndrome, Ellen, made reference to her mom as “the governor of Alaska.” Palin’s son Trig has Down syndrome.
The episode was “like another kick in the gut” Palin said at the time.
While show producers and the star voices had opinions about the episode and Palin’s response Tuesday, they frequently cited the public response several weeks ago from the actress, Andrea Friedman, who played Ellen, following Palin’s comments. Friedman, who also has the condition in real life, told Palin she doesn’t have “a sense of humor.”
“The funny thing about is that joke was written about a year and a half ago when she was running,” ‘Family Guy’ executive producer Danny Smith tells Fancast. “It was sort of by happenstance that it came out a few weeks ago … We did step back and say is this, ‘Over the line?’ I think that the feeling that she felt that we were taking a shot at her child was not really founded. But we had to ask ourselves, did we do that? And no, I think we were really making fun of her. We have feelings too.”
Seth Green, who plays Chris on ‘Family Guy,’ who has a crush on Ellen, also addressed the issue Tuesday. “Miss Palin felt compelled to say something, so she said it. Her opinions were refuted, for lack of a better word,” Green says. “Miss Palin said that she was representing that group that didn’t ask for her representation. Those opinions are hers. She even said so. I don’t give anybody a hard time for stating their opinion.”
No word yet on how Palin might resurface on ‘Family Guy.’
Watch the episode which sparked the controversy below: