Fox's Family Guy , never a stranger to the complaints of fundamentalist groups and censorship advocates, just had a controversial episode pulled from air.
It was announced this week that an abortion-themed episode of the show was produced and set to air, only to be pulled from the schedule by the nervous execs over at Fox.
The episode was/is titled Partial Terms of Endearment , and is said to have featured Lois carrying a baby for another couple as a surrogate. When the couple gets killed in a car wreck, Lois has to decide whether or not to keep the baby.
Sources inside FOX say that the show appears to end with Lois' decision being deliberately unstated, only to have Peter, her husband, pop his head in from off-screen and say, She had the abortion!
Then FOX released a statement saying, essentially, that while they wouldn't air it, they'd be happy to include it on a future Family Guy DVD release. McFarlane confirmed as much in the same interview with TV Guide. So, for all those Family Guy
fanatics out there, you'll get your chance to see what FOX was so scared to f-cking death about.
The Every three months the Federal Communications Commission comes up with its Quarterly Report on indecency complaints, and we sit around scratching our heads. How come the latest stats, in this instance for the first quarter of this year,
show the viewers relatively calm at 578 complaints in January, then 505 in February, followed by 179,997 in March?
179,997? Um, did we miss something? Did television really get that much more indecent in March? No worries. In these situations, we know what to do. We go over and check out the Parents Television Council's website. And sure
enough, there's a plausible instigator—a PTC viewer action alert crusade against a March 8 episode of the animated comedy show the PTC just loves to hate, Fox TV's Family Guy.
Microsoft has yanked its sponsorship from an upcoming half-hour special on Fox featuring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, according to Variety. The special was set to air on November 8, and was going under the working title Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show.
The show, announced earlier this month, was to be commercial free, but would feature Windows 7 marketing messages woven into the fabric of the program.
When it came to time to sign off on the show, however, Microsoft wasn't laughing. Variety reports that Microsoft executives came to view the special's taping on October 16, but got more than they bargained for when MacFarlane and Family
Guy co-star Alex Borstein started doing jokes about the deaf, the Holocaust, and incest.
The special's content turned out to be a little too much for Redmond, and the company decided the show was not a fit with the Windows brand.
Even though Microsoft has passed on the show, Variety says Fox plans on going forward with the November 8 special in partnership with a new, yet-to-be-named sponsor.
The BBC did a good thing last week, which was to broadcast an episode of Family Guy, Partial Terms of Endearment , on BBC3. This episode wasn't screened at all in the US, because it is about Lois having an abortion. She becomes a surrogate
mother for a friend, but the friend then dies in a car crash. So Lois heads to the Family Planning Centre with her husband, Peter, where she makes a reasoned and thoughtful decision to have an abortion. Peter's all in favour of an abortion, too,
until he is shown a pro-life video by protestors outside the centre.
This is all incredibly funny. The video that Peter watches is a heroic pastiche: Science, proclaims the spokesman, has proven that within hours of conception, a human foetus has started a college fund and has already made your first
mother's day card out of macaroni and glitter . At this point, it cuts to a picture of a foetus holding a handmade card which reads, Mom, don't kill me! I wuv you.
It's no surprise this episode hasn't aired in the States, although it is expected to be included in the DVD release of the series.
So three cheers to Family Guy , for having the courage of many of our convictions. And an extra cheer for the BBC, for letting us watch it.
Three months after Craigslist scrapped sex service ads from its websites in the United States, the online classifieds giant has refused to take similar action in Canada.
Now, a nutter law professor and 'expert' on human trafficking says a massive boycott is being planned for the new year if the company continues posting its erotic services ads. The boycott will involve students, victims groups and
They are completely disrespectful to Canada. There's no principled reason for why they're ignoring repeated requests to stop this online flesh market, Professor Benjamin Perrin, author of Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of
Human Trafficking , said.
Perrin and other critics have hyped that Craigslist has become the medium of choice for sex traffickers to advertise their victims -- including children -- for sale.
Over the last several months, those calling for the removal of the sex ads have grown to include attorneys general in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.
RCMP police officials have a more realistic approach to the issue. A spokeswoman in Ottawa said that officials are in ongoing discussions with the company to prevent Craigslist from being used to facilitate illegal activity, as well as to
identify victims and offenders.
Lucy Shorey said the RCMP cannot simply shut down the erotic-services section of the site because the vast majority of the ads do not violate any criminal law.
There has been no official word from Craigslist, but it appears the company has yanked prostitution ads from its Canadian websites.
The move comes after months of lobbying from Canadian nutter politicians. When you log on to the site, the erotic services section did not appear on most of its Canadian home-pages, including the Vancouver site.
Crisis worker Alice Lee with the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter calls it a positive first step: It's true there are other websites, however Craigslist is the biggest and the most popular.
The federal government is happy with the move. But after a detailed search, some recently posted erotic ads still pop up, only they're listed under a different category.
Update: First the US, then the World
21st December 2010.
It now appears that the recent removal of Craigslist erotic services section in Canada was reported too narrowly.
Reports are now coming to light that the erotic services section has been removed worldwide.
Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal said legal representatives for Craigslist had confirmed to his office that erotic and adult services sections had been removed from the company's websites around the world.
US morality campaigners have called for the censorship of a family Guy episode:
It is a violation of Federal Law for broadcasters to air indecent material on the publicly-owned airwaves when children are likely to be in the viewing audience.
Yet that is EXACTLY what the Fox Broadcast Network (not to be confused with Fox News) did this past Sunday, November 10th, with its most recent episode of Family Guy.
The network brags to its advertisers that Family Guy is #1 with Teens ...and because it is a cartoon, the show is watched by tens of thousands of young children every week.
What were children exposed to on Sunday's episode of Family Guy? Unbelievably vile sexual content -- including jokes about child molestation, exploitation, rape, and the sexualized use of food and the perverse internal defrosting of frozen hot dogs.
Beyond the repugnant sexual content, the overall theme of the episode is that it is humorous for a boy to bully and beat up a girl.
This episode aired at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT -- only 8 p.m. in the Central/Mountain time zones.
The moralists of the Parents Television Council are up-in-arms about the jokes in an episode of Family Guy.
In the episode, Quagmire sleeps with what he believes to be a 23-year-old female who ends up actually being 15. A whole slew of situations occur up to the point where Quagmire ends up in court, and his mother gives the judge a fellatio in order
to save her son from jail time.
The Hollywood Reporter got a hold of a statement from the Parents Television Council:
We believe that Family Guy 's description of this explicit sexual terminology violates the broadcast indecency law. And we believe that joking about statutory rape, as Family Guy did throughout this episode, exceeds contemporary community
standards of decency for the broadcast medium. As such, we urge our members, as well as other Americans who agree that the broadcast was legally indecent, to file formal indecency complaints with the FCC.
Sexual assault is an increasingly troubling problem across America. Joking about child rape on TV shows and using such patently offensive sexual dialogue -- especially when they air at such an early hour and when they attract such a young
viewing audience -- is a gross violation of a broadcast licensee's public interest obligation.