I don’t watch Family Guy anymore. Haven’t done so for a few years now, since about the time it returned to television. Seth MacFarlane thought the revival of his show meant that it was too good for cancellation to stop it and decided that he was going to pile on the toilet humour and ill-conceived political nonsense, as well as turning Meg into the family’s “punching bag” (don’t like young women much Seth?). I will admit that it was funny prior to it being shelved, but that doesn’t mean it was anywhere near a quality show. The truth about Family Guy’s return to television was explained in the comeback episodes’ introduction, that everything they tried to replace it with was garbage (I did enjoy Andy Richter Controls the Universe until Conan O’Brien became a regular guest which ruined the show because he isn’t that funny). It is a pity that Seth didn’t quite understand that…
As with the show’s last season, this season has turned out to be nothing but unfunny and downright offensive nonsense. The last episode, which has Chris Griffin dating a girl with Down Syndrome, has once again crossed the line of common decency. Former Governor Sarah Palin has responded, and I will admit that she let Seth and his staff of writers off easy. I agree with Allahpundit on this one, after watching the clip with the jab at Palin, not only is the joke not funny, it lacks any sort of punchline. Does he mean that Palin is the broodmother of Down Syndrome individuals (yes, I am playing Dragon Age: Origins), or is it that all of Sarah’s children are of “special needs”? Whatever it is, no one but the handicapped fans of Family Guy got it. Instead of apologizing for this, Seth and his staff continue this downward dissent and release a letter from Andrea Friedman, the voice actress of Ellen, Chris Griffin’s date.
Below is a copy of a letter to the editor that Andrea has written and sent. Please feel free to circulate it on the web or in any other manner that you choose.
All best wishes,
My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the “Extra Large Medium” episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine’s day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in ” Smudge” but I was a blonde in “Life Goes On”. I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is “sarcasm”.
In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.
This statement, along with interview, was printed in The New York Times in the Arts Beat section. “Trig Truther” blogger Palingates put a post up on this and did his best impression of Andrew Sullivan by saying “One of the biggest ironies in this story is that Sarah Palin isn’t even the biological mother of Trig, her beloved Down-Syndrome prop, because she has faked the pregnancy! Bristol Palin is the biological mother of Trig.” Aside from the fact that Palin’s critics seem to be jumping all over this, no one seems to question the credibility of what Andrea Friedman said, or if she said it at all. No one has bothered to question whether or not this is simply more nonsense from Seth MacFarlane and his staff.
I am not saying that a Down Syndrome individual is capable of writing such a statement, but whether or not she understands what she is saying. Those with Down Syndrome suffer from serious cognitive problems, and many lack the ability to function normally without the assistance of care providers. As politically incorrect as it might be to say, I don’t think she has the mental capacity to have such a political opinion. To me, this reeks of parental persuasion by her father, Hal Friedman. In the interview Andrea clearly states that it was her father that talked with the Family Guy staff, and it wouldn’t surprise me if all this nonsense was planned in detail beforehand as some kind of twisted “chess move”. Dignity doesn’t matter when you have money, right Hal? I also have doubts that if Andrea was as understanding as this letter claims to be, she would have found this episodes treatment of Down Syndrome individuals, including the lyrics to this disturbing song, “sarcasm”.
You’ve got to look your best tonight, you tubby little parasite
‘Cause there’s a lovely lady and she’s waiting for you.
And though her pretty face may seem
A special person’s wettest dream
Before you get to see it there are things you must do.
We’ll try a tie, and boutonniere of yellow.
A rose that shows that you’re a classy fellow.
With a posh panache of Jefferson at Monticello,
Busting out a mile with style.
I know you just can’t wait to stare
At all that luscious orange hair
But boy before you touch a single curl
You must impress that ultra boomin’,
All-consumin’, poorly groomin’
Down syndrome girl.
On any normal day you reek
As if you’re on a farting streak,
Your fingers up your nose and you are dripping with drool.
But if you want a lady’s love,
You’re better off by smelling of
A gentleman’s cologne instead of sneakers and stool.
A squirt, a spurt of something just for Ellen
And you’ll see that she will find you so compellin’.
And she does because the only smell that she’ll be smellin’
Won’t be comin’ from your bum.
You want to take that little whore
And spin her on the dancing floor
But boy, before you do a single twirl –
You must impress that effervescing,
Down syndrome girl.
Her eyes are emerald portals to a secret land of love
And her smile is like the sweetest summer flower.
Her kiss is so inviting, and her hugs are so delighting.
And what makes them really nice is that they’ve got a little spice
Because they’re tighter than a vice and they go on for an hour.
My boy, between the two of us we’ll get you on that shorty bus.
And then you’re going to take it for a whirl.
Now go impress that super-thrilling,
Daily singing, ding-a-linging
Mega-rocking, pillow talking,
Just a little crooked walking,
Poorly pouting, boobies sprouting,
For some reason always shouting,
Happiness and joy creating
Down syndrome girl!
Excuse me while I vomit. Not only was this episode downright offensive, but the follow-up fiasco has crossed and recrossed (and recrossed and recrossed…) the line of the most basic in common decency. This isn’t sarcasm Andrea, this is insulting. Tell me again how “enlightened” these people who support this nonsense are? Is this all some kind of joke that we just don’t understand, lacking the absence of a soul? There is nothing funny about this continued harassment of Sarah Palin and her family, especially when the target of these jokes happens to be a child with Down Syndrome…
Family Guy should have stayed canceled. Although not funny, Conan O’Brien’s performance on Andy Richter Controls the Universe at least wasn’t ill-conceived political nonsense like the kind pushed by Seth MacFarlane and his staff… Disturbing…
UPDATE: To think I beat Hot Air to this story (well, technically they had the headline up first, which this post is a response to), but no matter. Allahpundit has his take on Andrea Friedman’s letter, and yes, this is what is called playing the Absolute Moral Authority trump card (what happened to the accusations of racism?). I don’t agree that Palin should have played it lower key, matter of fact, aside from a Facebook response and answering questions about it on Fox News’ The Factor, I didn’t think she did much to respond to this downright disgusting insult. It isn’t that though that is bothering me. This whole incident is not only disgusting, but downright bizarre. Seeing how there are “Trig Truthers”, Seth MacFarlane and his staff, and a slew of Palin-bashers running around, this might just be the plot for the next twisted and disturbed episode of Family Guy… Pathetic…
UPDATE: What did I say about the letter being a twisted chess move? Seth MacFarlane himself made the next one, giving The New York Times and interview about this whole fiasco. I recommend giving Hot Air’s Allahpundit’s take on this new development a read, especially the last bit on his opinion of Seth’s treatment of people with Down Syndrome.
Allahpundit points to a point made by The Anchoress, that maybe Palin should have just laughed this off. I disagree, and here is why. This fiasco is unraveling as it was intended; The offensive episode airs, the Palins respond, Andrea Friedman responds, and the Sarah looks the fool. The problem is that as with any game of this nature, whether it be chess or poker, there comes a point when someone overplays their hand, they get a little cocky and a little sloppy. As Ms. Friedman put it in her latest interview with “The Gray Lady”, “I’m like, ‘I’m not Trig. This is my life. I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.” Last time I checked, insulting someone’s mother is still an insult to that person, intended or not. Let’s not forget it was these very people who went after Palin for not aborting Trig, and to me at least, this kind of attack is simply a continuation of that line of insults. Why go after Palin at all through such a offensive statement about how she gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome if you don’t mean to offend that same child? It doesn’t add up at all.
As for Seth MacFarlane’s claim about Andrea’s character, Ellen, I am not buying it. The entire emphasis of the episode was on Ellen’s disability, even the inclusion of a deeply disturbing song to highlight the point. He did this to lure Palin out, no matter how degrading he had to treat those with Down Syndrome to do it. Palin, being the unofficial spokeswoman for those with this disability had to make a response, whether she wanted to or not. Bill O’Reilly and everyone else played their part, forcing Palin to confront an issue she couldn’t distance herself from, and by doing so, sprung this trap. If I were in her shoes, I would have done the very same thing, and even The Anchoress admits that it is very much a parent’s duty to protect their child from such criticism.
As political incorrect as this sounds, I don’t think Andrea Friedman has the cognitive ability to understand that she has participated in insulting those that share her disability, more so now that she is continuing her attacks with Seth MacFarlane watching from the sidelines. The Family Guy’s creator has gone far too far with this stunt, and while he is not be a man of faith, I am sure there is a place in the Eighth Circle of Hell for this deceiver… Disturbing…
UPDATE: Brent Baker from NewsBusters.org has more from Seth MacFarlane, this time his belief that Ronald Reagan would have prosecuted Dick Cheney for war crimes.
If Ronald Reagan were President, based on Ronald Reagan’s assertion that no matter who it is — if it’s the Japanese in World War II, if it’s Pol Pot, if it’s us and we’re just scared — torture is torture and you prosecute that. I have to believe if Ronald Reagan were President, he would try Dick Cheney for war crimes.
Based on Ronald Reagan’s assertion? What assertion? This is the first time I have heard of any such assertion. Since its founding in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency has been using questionable methods to safeguard the United States, practices which surely continued under the Reagan administration. Why didn’t Reagan do something about that when he was President? What about the Iran-Contra affair Seth? If he was the idealistic man you would portray him as, why wouldn’t he have done more in “bringing to justice” those involved (not that I think it was a serious offense, or an offense at all)? You speak as if Ronald Reagan wasn’t the same man you and your ilk demonize for his aggressive approach with Soviet Russia and other socialist/terrorist nations, including the bombing of Libya in 1986. By your own logic, he should have arrested himself for that. Did you even think that through?
Reagan understood that tough decisions needed to be made to keep America safe, that’s why he was President. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney also understood what had to be done, especially after the September 11th attacks, something you cannot seem to understand. Your lack of historical knowledge is matched by your IQ, and the more you speak, the more nonsense you spout through interviews and your show, the more you confirm this a fact rather than a widely held belief… Truly Pathetic…
UPDATE: Newsweek’s Joshua Alston weighs in on this fiasco. While I do tend to stay away from Newsweek due to their left-leaning political bias, this article is well written and worth a read. Joshua is right, this isn’t satire, it isn’t funny and many people find it rather offensive. There is nothing funny about offensive humour for shock value alone, especially when the initial shock has worn off, which is why I can’t stand Sacha Baron Cohen (there nothing funny about being incredibly stupid in front of a group people). The final point of the article is that if Seth MacFarlane wants take on Sarah Palin, he will need much better material to do it, but it is more than that. As I said previously, Seth is an intellectual lightweight, this is why he is on shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, just another pseudo-intellectual talking with other pseudo-intellectuals in an attempt to hide his lack of intellectual depth. The problem is not that he needs better material, but that he needs to know his limitations when it comes to political humour. He isn’t up to playing in the “big leagues”, let alone the minor ones… Pathetic…