'Family Guy' is to phase out gay jokes

Ben Arnold
Family Guy (Credit: Fox)

Family Guy is phasing out gay jokes, its makers have confirmed.

In typical style, the long-running animation series made reference to its own plans in last weekend’s episode.

Featuring Donald Trump, in an episode called Trump Guy, Peter Griffin, voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane, is courted to become the president’s press secretary.

But the pair – predictably – fall out, and in a stand up row, Trump yells: “Many children have learned their favourite Jewish, black, and gay jokes by watching your show over the years.”

“In fairness, we’ve been trying to phase out the gay stuff. But you know what? We’re a cartoon,” he replies. “You’re the president.”

(Credit: Fox)

Now the show’s executive producers Alec Sulkin and Rich Appel have officially confirmed the move.

“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 told TV Line.

“Some of the things we felt comfortable saying and joking about back then, we now understand is not acceptable.”

“If a show has literally been on the air for 20 years, the culture changes,” added Appel. “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.”

Gay jokes have regularly centred around Stewie, the series’ talking baby, in the 17 series of the show so far.

And it’s not the only way in which the show, which has offended all walks of life in its time, is maturing.

Serial sex offender Quagmire is reportedly set to have his comeuppance in a future episode.

“We are a year out, so we are writing episodes this month that won’t air for a year,” Appel said last summer. “So the Me Too stuff became such a cultural force while were thinking of next season, and we are taking it head-on with an episode around Quagmire.”

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