According to the executive producers of Family Guy, the animated series is going to stop making jokes about gay people.
Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin have said the long-running show is ‘evolving’, and while it will remain its politically incorrect, acerbic self, some types of jokes are finally being given an overhaul.
The show first aired in January 1999, and the producers have said any show that has been on air for 20 years needs to change with the times and culture around it.
Speaking to Deadline, Sulkin said:
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.
Despite constantly being a controversial show, known for pushing its own limits, creators have acknowledged that some things need to be updated.
Rich Appel added:
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.
The show, the executive producers say, is always even-handed. Even one of its most recent episodes – which features an epic fight between Peter and Donald Trump – is said to poke fun at both sides of the argument.
We’ve had some episodes in the past that had some left leanings in them. But we take hard shots all around. We’ve made fun of the Clintons and Barack Obama. It’s not like we would avoid anyone because we vote this way or that way.
In any time that Family Guy has been on, we’ve pointed out idiots and the dumb things they do. This just happens to be our current person, and it would be no different if a Democrat were doing something idiotic, which they do.
We’re not proselytizing for one political agenda; hypocrisy, lying and buffoonery in the public sphere should just be called out.
— Josh Robert Thompson (@joshrthompson) January 8, 2019
The Trump episode is set to feature ‘an epic, many-minute-long fight’ between Peter and The Donald, after Trump says something inappropriate to Meg.
In the history of the show, Peter hasn’t been that paternal with Meg, but he certainly likes Meg [more] than he likes Donald Trump, and that’s saying something.
Family Guy‘s network, Fox, are said to not have any significant notes about Trump Guy – which has been updated with new scandals to keep the episode fresh.
Initially there was kind of a feeling of, well, the network is going to have to think about whether we can do this whole Trump episode. And I think a couple things happened. One, they read the script and enjoyed it, and said, ‘Yes, of course you can do this.’
And two, something that helped is just that Trump continued to be so preposterous on a daily basis that it really made it seem like this was an episode that we had to do.
Can’t wait to see Peter fighting Trump, it’ll be better than just another fight with that chicken again!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.