Family Guy Makes Fun of Down Syndrome

Matt Kiebus :: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 5:45 pm

Seth MacFarlane and the folks at Family Guy enjoy taking a shit on the “line” they aren’t supposed to cross. This weekend the target was Fox’s own Sarah Palin. I know what your thinking, easy target, but wait! MacFarlane didn’t make fun of Palin directly, he made fun of Palin’s son who has Down Syndrome.

The question being asked is did Family Guy finally go too far? The answer is no. It’s a television show that prides itself on its politically incorrect gag humor, this really shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Parent’s Television Council has rated Family Guy the “Worst TV Show of the Week” 22 times. The Fox cartoon has been surrounded by controversy since it premiered in 1999. It has joked about taboo topics like AIDS and religious bigotry. They do this to stir up a reaction, and they’re normally successful.

I personally didn’t find the segment of the show very funny, but I’m not particularly offended or surprised by it. This is the type of humor we have come to expect from Family Guy. It may be tasteless, but the show isn’t known for a having a classy palate.

15 Responses to “Family Guy Makes Fun of Down Syndrome”
  1. As the parent of a child with Down’s Syndrome I am absolutely DISGUSTED!!! I know a joke is supposed to be a joke, but this is FAR from funny! My child didn’t like it either!!! Needless to say the channel was changed and won’t be switched back. SHAME ON YOU!! People are not born with this for someone’s sick idea of entertainment, and as far as tolerance goes, it’s not us “normal” people that must tolerate people with disabilities, it’s us tolerating PURE IGNORANCE of people who find this funny!

    Posted by: Barbara February 16th, 2010 at 7:32 pm
  2. They have made fun of a lot of things, just because they made fun of a down syndrome person doesn’t make it any worse then the other things they have made fun of. They make fun of races, people, and everything else. If you aren’t aware of that then maybe you havent seen the show. They make fun of EVERYTHING, nothing is off limits so people just get over it. People are ignorant… when are we all going to get over each others faults and face the fact that not everyone is going to see eye to eye. Just shut up and deal with it.

    Posted by: Ally February 16th, 2010 at 9:17 pm
  3. Seth MacFarlane must simply be PATHETICally sick. It is sickening, and absolutely one of the most disgusting pieces of humor I have seen in many years. Thank you for increasing my level of awareness to stupidity.

    Posted by: Drg February 16th, 2010 at 9:23 pm
  4. Don’t be such babies, Family Guy actually repected the girl with down syndrome. They didn’t protray the girl as mentally retarded person that wasn’t the joke. Also family guy makes fun of everything so you would have expected it.

    Posted by: Santiago Posada February 16th, 2010 at 10:07 pm
  5. As the aunt of a special needs toddler, I think its pathetic to make fun of people who have challenges, be they the children of politicians or others. There are lines you don’t cross. Evidently they like crossing to the cruel and hearless side.

    Posted by: Maria February 16th, 2010 at 10:12 pm
  6. Seriously people, the only judgmental people are the ones who were upset by this. The show treated the character as a normal person, which if any of you really watched the show, you would have known. And any mother who claims to be watching this show with their kid is frankly either a liar (likely), or a terrible parent (also likely, but mutually exclusive). This show is just revealing people’s inner belief that people with down syndrome really are different, and it’s shocking (sarcasm here folks) that the biggest supporters of equal rights for the handicapped, are the ones being found out for having bigoted views of them. Don’t blame family guy for making you feel guilty, why not try changing how you think about the handicapped. they deserve to be treated as people too, not second class citizens who need to be protected from all those big meanies.

    Posted by: Tuttles February 16th, 2010 at 10:20 pm
  7. I think the show had at least one valid point. One can’t make assumptions about a person’s character or personality based on their disability.

    Posted by: Cynthia February 16th, 2010 at 10:54 pm
  8. you’re right… since they routinely go too far, might as well let them keep going. no point in wiping the ass, since it’s just getting dirty again.

    Posted by: Ryan February 16th, 2010 at 10:56 pm
  9. This incident is a question of whose standards apply. The show certainly has a right to set their standards as low as possible to elict a reaction.

    The reason the reaction is predictable is because it is so much at odds with a much higher standard: human dignity. Society’s standards will endure long after “Family Guy” is gone.

    But one has to wonder what the “Family Guy” network-and its sponsors-must thinkof its viewers. Very young children often do things they know are offensive. It’s a juvenile way of getting attention. And parents gently guide their children to represent human ideals.

    One must feel extraordinarily sad for the executive who approved such an immature approach. When his children ask him, years from now, “what did you do for a living, Dad?” This poor excuse for a human being will probably be too embarrassed to admit his reprenhensible behavior.

    Finally, please remember that everything you see, everything you hear, is condoned or encouraged by the leadership of the networks and their sponors.

    I urge you, when you find something objectionable, turn away from both sources of these insults. Then the marketplace will right the situation.

    Posted by: G. Morgan February 16th, 2010 at 11:22 pm
  10. It didn’t portray the downs girl disrespectful, if anything it portrayed her just like any other adolescent teenage girl. And that was the joke itself. And if you had a problem with it - you my friend, is intellectual challenged.

    Posted by: mikey February 16th, 2010 at 11:25 pm
  11. Yet another loony left liberal media loon takes a pot shot at Sarah Palin. So what’s new?
    To Matt Kiebus, who wrote this stupid piece, if Seth Macfarlane and “Family Guy” “make fun of everything” like you laim, let them make fun of the Islamic religion and the Prophet Mohammed, like that Dutch cartoonist did.
    Ha! I didn’t thnk so.
    The vermin at Hollywood and the liberal media are quick to attack Christians and defenselss Down Syndrome children, but then are like scaredy cats when it comes to taking on, or offending the Islamic crazies in any way. Go figure. Cowards all.

    Posted by: Smithy February 16th, 2010 at 11:41 pm
  12. Family Guy just accomplished exactly what it set out to do, strike up an argument and get a reaction. To all those who are disgusted, it’s an adult oriented cartoon that aims to offend. Many of the comments point out that the character is treated as a normal teenager and I agree. I also didn’t think the episode was that funny. I’m not applauding Seth MacFarlane. I just believe the show hasn’t done anything out of character.
    Smithy- Family Guy has joked about islamic terrorists in the past. South Park has even made fun of the Prophet Mohammed and Family Guy in the same scene. Also no where in my post did I make fun of Christians or children with Down Syndrome. Most importantly everyone it’s a cartoon, not 60 Minutes stop taking it so seriously.

    Posted by: Matt Kiebus February 17th, 2010 at 2:12 am
  13. Personally, I thought the piece was weirdly disjointed and kind of lame in the fact that, like much of Family Guy’s “humor,” there seemed to be no purpose to the joke except to make people angry. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t intelligent, and they do deserve the backlash that they were looking for when they chose to include it.

    Kiebus clearly isn’t taking a potshot at Down’s Syndrome or anyone who has it; he’s just commenting on a television show that did. I wasn’t aware that to write about something someone else did = doing it yourself. Calm down, seriously.

    Posted by: Amy Rose Spiegel February 17th, 2010 at 9:56 am
  14. This is America. We have Freedom of Speech. And Sarah Palin is a stupid cunt anyway. Fuck her and her stupid ass family, and that stupid slut daughter of hers who got knocked up by some other faggot. Fuck Republicans, wasterful greedy scum.

    Posted by: Jon February 17th, 2010 at 4:27 pm
  15. I would like someone to explain what exactly is offensive about that episode.

    Really, is simply making a reference to Sarah Palin or her son offensive??

    Before you get outraged, actually sit down and watch that episode. She was intentionally made out to be a well rounded character, with strengths and weaknesses. Chris thought she was good enough to have a big crush on, and Stewie supported his decision to date her. And when it turned out that she was a spoiled brat (yeah it wasn’t about her being mentally handicapped) that Chris sad how she was “just like other people” meaning that people with down syndrome can be cool or can be assholes.

    Oh, how many times did they use to word retarded in that episode?

    Posted by: matt February 21st, 2010 at 2:40 am