Main | Monday, May 10, 2010

Did Family Guy Cross The Line?

Last night's episode of Family Guy featured a storyline in which Brian Griffin (the dog) learns that the woman he'd been dating was transgender. Brent Hartinger at After Elton fills us in on the plot.
In the episode, Quagmire's friends think his dad is gay. Cue Family Guy's regular flood of penis and anal sex jokes whenever anything "gay" is mentioned. It turns out that Quagmire's dad isn't gay; he's a transgender woman. To the episode's credit, it does point out that "gay" is different than "transgender." And Ida, the transgender woman, does talk about her choice to get gender-reassignment surgery, saying, "Do I want to be happy the rest of my life, or do I want to be miserable?"

But the second half of the episode is about Brian hooking up with the woman, thinking he's found his soul-mate, but not realizing she's transgender. When he's informed of this, he precedes to vomit for thirty seconds straight; in a sight gag, the whole floor of the room fills up with vomit. "I had sex with her!" Brian says, before screaming like what has transpired is the most disgusting thing imaginable. "When they move to a new place, they're supposed to notify the neighborhood!" a character says of transgender people. On top of that Peter and Lois say a whole host of shockingly insenstive things including asking what they call "it" now.
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane had previously told After Elton that "the transsexual community will be very, very happy" with last night's show. Judging by the flood of emails I've already gotten today, MacFarlane was very, very wrong.

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