Television shows will often put out advertisements in the Hollywood trade publications (Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, etc.) to try to raise awareness for their Emmy campaign. In an effort to get on some of the Emmy bigwigs’ radars, the producers of “Family Guy” put out a tongue-in-cheek ad where Peter Griffin implores the “Brentwood Jews” to “let us into your little club,” and Stewie reminds them “It’s a secret ballot. You can still tell people you voted for ‘Modern Family.'” Seems pretty harmless, right? WRONG. Both THR and Variety refused to run the ad, and when the people at “Family Guy” decided to mail it out directly, one Hollywood producer had this to say:
“While I think Family Guy is a genuinely funny show, we all — including this ‘Brentwood Jew’ — need to think twice about this kind of humor. Stereotyping any particular ethnic group is just not cool and can lead others (with the wrong intentions) to feel a certain license to take shots. Surely Seth [MacFarlane] has better stuff than this.” [THR]
Let me get two things out of the way real quick: 1) I’m not a big fan of “Family Guy.” It has its moments, but on the whole, it’s not my cup of tea. 2) I’m a huge dipsh-t liberal who is hyper-sensitive about stereotyping and hates when people respond to complaints about it with “Hey, lighten up.” That said, JESUS MIGHTY lighten up, fella. Stereotyping is bad, sure, but putting words in the mouth of famously politically incorrect character and having him gently nudge the people in power in this situation doesn’t require such a judgmental, finger-wagging response.
For example, a different Hollywood producer had this to say:
“Wow,” responds one Brentwood TV producer, “if Family Guy was that funny on a regular basis, it might get nominated.”
Yup. That’s a burn.