Seth McFarlane isn’t afraid of anyone in Hollywood and when it comes to his Family Guy scripts, no one in a powerful position is safe from a deserved tongue-lashing.
As allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been published today against Kevin Spacey, old footage from season four of Family Guy – originally aired in May 2005 – has re-emerged, showing Stewie – the adult baby – hinting at paedophilia.
You can watch Stewie’s now-uncomfortable joke in the short clip below:
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Anthony Rapp recalled how in 1986, Kevin Spacey invited him, aged just 14, to his Manhattan apartment for a party and found him alone, watching TV in a bedroom.
Spacey then allegedly picked up the boy – a fellow cast member in the Broadway showing of Rent – and proceeded to lay him down on the bed and lie on top of Rapp.
The Star Trek: Discovery star told Buzzfeed he, ‘still to this day can’t wrap my head around so many aspects of it’, adding:
It’s just deeply confusing to me.
The House of Cards and American Beauty actor has come out as gay in a controversial apology for the alleged sexual misconduct.
Spacey’s statement reads:
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I’m beyond horrified to hear his story.
I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago.
But if I did behave then as he describes, I own him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate, drunken behavior [sic], and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.
On a personal note, Spacey continued:
This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been protective of my privacy.
As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life and I choose now to live as a gay man.
I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior [sic].
However, Spacey’s decision to use these allegations as a platform to come out has not gone down well with some observers, who’ve also criticised the actor for suggesting drunkenness mitigates the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.
Rapp, now 46, told Buzzfeed he decided to speak publicly about the abuse he experienced in the aftermath of allegations regarding film mogul Harvey Weinstein and his systematic abuse of female actors in Hollywood for decades.
Harvey Weinstein has been accused of many incidents of gross sexual misconduct – including harassment, sexual assault and rape – by over 80 women.
Strangely, the latest season of Family Guy subtly suggests a prior knowledge of Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting behaviour, with Peter Griffin crudely welcoming a young baby-sitter into his home wearing just a bath robe.
It mirrors harrowing accounts given by numerous women in the film industry of Weinstein’s preferred tactics of abuse.
You can watch it below:
Now, and only now, with safety in numbers, have these individuals felt able to talk about the abuse they suffered, showing just how insipid and poisonous the nature of sexual abuse can be, at the hands of powerful people.
In bravely telling their stories, these women have inspired others to come forward on social media, using the hashtag ‘Me Too’, in a cathartic but horrific display of how widespread sexual abuse is in wider society.
There’s also the deafening silence of those survivors who’ve been unable to come forward, due to their circumstances, which we would be remiss to forget.
Reminder that if a woman didn't post #MeToo, it doesn't mean she wasn't sexually assaulted or harassed. Survivors don't owe you their story.
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) October 16, 2017
This latest incident just goes to show sexual abuse does occur outside of heteronormative relationships.
It's a sad fact which shouldn’t be forgotten at a time like this, when more and more people in power are being outed for abusing it.
For support and information, you can call the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Refuge and Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247.
You can also call the Men’s Advice Line (managed by Respect) on 0808 801 0327.