Seth McFarlane has claimed that he needed Family Guy’s dark Kevin Spacey joke ‘explained’ to him, as he didn’t write it.
Following the allegations made against Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp, who alleged that Spacey lay on top of him in bed when he was just 14 – a claim that sparked a wave of allegations against the House of Cards actor – a joke about Spacey being a predator was discovered in a 12-year-old Family Guy episode.
In the season four episode, baby Stewie is seen running through a shopping centre yelling: ‘Help! I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement! Help me!’
It was suspected that McFarlane knew about the Spacey rumours, hence including the joke in the episode.
However, he has now claimed that the joke was the idea of another writer.
At Fox’s Winter TCA Press Tour, the 44-year-old said: ‘I don’t remember who pitched the joke. I remember when it got pitched, that was a rumor I had not heard, but people in the writer’s room had. And it had to be sort of explained to me.’
The Spacey joke came after it emerged that Seth joked about Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behaviour four years before the allegations of harassment and assault against him were made public.
At the 2013 Oscar nominations event, while announcing the nominations for Best Actress, the comedian said: ‘Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.’
MacFarlane said that the quip ‘came from a place of loathing and anger’ after a friend confided in him regarding advances Weinstein made against her.
And in a 2012 episode of Family Guy, there was a ‘joke’ about a sex slave being auctioned off to Brett Ratner – who has since been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.
More: Kevin Spacey
Seth said of the jokes: ‘I think that the myth that Family Guy is this Kreskin-like prognosticator is a little sensationalised. It’s interesting that the narrative that’s been decided by others, the idea that Family Guy is this cartoon Ouija Board that predicts these things.
‘I was just watching this all happen from afar. I don’t know that there’s a lot of research against it. I think it’s sort of the modern thing where it’s more important to be first than it is to be right. And it gets out there and somebody else picks it up and somebody else picks it up and then it just becomes viral.
‘It’s a strange thing to observe. Again, we plan our show the same as anybody else and we make the same topical jokes that The Simpsons does, that South Park does. And you work with what you have, whether that be swirling rumour or…fact.’
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