There’s a pretty good profile of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane in this week’s New Yorker. The basic theme behind the piece is how Seth MacFarlane is desperate for comedic legitimacy and respect in addition to his incredible success, which, OK, sure, maybe? I don’t know. It seems like he’s respected just fine? He’s doing great. Does he want Woody Allen to publicly declare him a genius? Because even if that happened, who cares? And it’s hard to imagine who he’s jealous of that he thinks is operating at his level but also maintaining some kind of incredible artistic integrity that no one would ever dare question. That’s barely a thing. You kind of get one or the other in this world. (And, as the New Yorker profile itself points out, “abortion, AIDS, bestiality, Down syndrome, and rape are favorite comedic motifs.” I don’t think Seth MacFarlane is confused about what he finds funny, so why is he confused about why other people might not find this “respectable”?) I guess it just goes to show you that everyone, no matter how successful, is desperately struggling to get something else. WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU FART. (That’s Seth MacFarlane’s throw pillow.) Unfortunately, in describing his desire for legitimacy/respect, Seth MacFarlane once again compares his career as a multi-millionaire primetime animator of anti-Semitic Down syndrome rape jokes to the historic plight for civil rights:

“There’s a prejudice against the medium of animation,” MacFarlane said to me recently. Although he is the highest-paid writer-producer in television history, he feels it acutely: “I don’t care about winning awards, but it’ll be nice to do something that is perceived as slightly more significant.

“‘The Simpsons’ is a show that outclasses any number of live-action sitcoms, and it has never got any recognition,” he went on. “It’s like Sammy Davis, Jr., at the Sands. Everyone recognized that he was a great entertainer and an enormous talent, but, you know: Stay out of the casino.

WELL, NO, IT’S NOT LIKE SAMMY DAVIS, JR., AT THE SANDS. I mean, God fucking damn it already. You may remember a couple years ago when Seth MacFarlane compared his desire for an Emmy to the HURTLES BARACK OBAMA HAD TO OVERCOME TO BE ELECTED AS THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT. No, motherfucker! Not that this statement even needs any kind of counter-argument because it’s just so clearly borderline-racist nonsense, but like, this guy makes 33 million dollars a year. There’s a story in the very same New Yorker piece in which he makes 100 people wait for three hours to do a table read only to have the table read canceled because he’s at home THINKING ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE TIME-SPACE CONTINUUM. (There’s also an incredible story about him secretly having a woman wait in the bathroom at work for him with a spray-tan machine during meetings, which I personally appreciated because it was exactly the PROOF I was looking for.) My point is, in absolutely no way, just in general but ESPECIALLY in the specific, is being the head of a multi-billion dollar entertainment empire the same as a talented black entertainer struggling under institutionalized bigotry. NO NO NO NOT THE SAME NOT THE SAME STOP SAYING THINGS LIKE THIS.

Look, Seth MacFarlane is very successful. “The highest-paid writer-producer in television history.” That’s incredible! And he’s also clearly very talented. You do not have three hugely popular primetime network sitcoms (animated or not) running at the same time without having a certain knack (and a pocketful of anti-Semitic Down syndrom rape jokes). But if he really wants to earn people’s respect then maybe he should STOP COMPARING THE TIMESHARE HE JUST BOUGHT IN A PRIVATE JET TO THE TRAIL OF FUCKING TEARS. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Comments (39)
  1. He’s a good part of .001%, but you can still see how out of touch they are.

  2. I would agree that animation can be unfairly maligned despite being no more or less inherently significant than any other medium, but everything else up there makes me just want to bang my head on the desk until I pass out and forget this ever happened.

  3. I have a dream, that people will treat my show that is about 90% fart jokes and pop culture references the same way they treat M*A*S*H*

  4. This guy knows what Seth McFarlane’s talking about:

  5. He understands that he wasn’t born an animated-American, right?

  6. I swear to god, he’s 12-years-old. YOU CAN’T PROVE THAT HE ISN’T.

  7. Why won’t the Sands let Seth MacFarlane inside their casino? When will the NAACP finally recognize all Seth has done? Why haven’t we elected him POTUS and given him all of the things yet? Why do we keep discriminating against Seth MacFarlane??? NoH8 guys. NoH8.

  8. My favourite part was when he said the Simpson’s has never gotten any recognition. It’s definitely not as though you coulnd’t spit a few years ago without hitting someone talking about how the Simpson’s was the most significant / political / culturally in-tune show on television. It’s not like a celebrity appearance on the Simpons is a sort of right-of-passage that marks you as a legitimate pop culture phenomenon. It’s not like it’s socially acceptable for fucking adults to quote / reference the Simpsons in daily life. Poor the Simpsons. They get all the breaks.

    • He got super rich by shamelessly ripping off one of the most revolutionary shows of all time and adding anti-Semitic down syndrome rape jokes to it. He’s a great business man (and admittedly voice actor) but he’s not contributed anything of real value to popular culture. if anything he’s

    • “This … this is what I do” – Seth MacFarlane, putting a copy of the Simpsons back on the shelf

  9. The lack of self-awareness in MacFarlane complaining that animation doesn’t get taken seriously when he puts out the comedy equivalent of 7-11 nachos on sunday nights is wonderful.

  10. Remember when he and Amanda Bynes dated?

  11. My favorite part is when his DEMAND for Emmy’s included anti-Semitic bullshit.

    (sorry so large)

  12. “Although he is the highest-paid writer-producer in television history, he feels it acutely.” HAHAHA this writer hates him so much.

  13. I understand the whole “animation gets relegated to kid stuff more often than it doesn’t” sentiment. Comic books get the same sentiment. But where animation is a product of film and television, and people make tons of money doing it (along with the pop cultural landscape continually shifting towards recognizing that these mediums of entertainment can span all age ranges), comic books themselves are still working hard for that legitimacy.

    Currently, success in comic books– legitimacy of the medium– is measured by when a property is bought up and adapted into the much more popular entertainment mediums of film (Dark Knight, Avengers) and television (Walking Dead). The attention often does equate to comic book sales for the books which are usually self-contained and authored by one creative team such as Watchmen (1 book), V For Vendetta (1 book), Scott Pilgrim (5 volumes), and Walking Dead (ongoing soap opera). But the sale figures of ongoing, serialized-for-decades superhero comic books– a genre the medium is saturated by and most affiliated with (re: comics are for kids), thanks to Marvel and DC– barely spike, and those comics by the Big 2 are the ones that continually have the highest sales figures anyway. To be a top-selling comic book, you only need to move 200,000 copies.

    At least MacFarlane is the showrunner of a creative property in a medium that makes a ton of money. There are zero reasons for him to continually attempt legitimizing his battles for success through hyperbolic comparisons to civil rights and other actual moments in history with real, tangible strife, conflict and struggle. He’s doing great, and there are many apt and relatable comparisons he can make in regards to his meteoric rise. It’s like MacFarlaneGate up in here!

  14. “Tell me about it! I’m still waiting for big-budget action films about aliens based on child’s toys to be legitimized. I mean it’s like, Hello, Rosa Parks, some of us want to ride the bus too!” -Michael Bay

  15. He’s right in saying that there are a lot of animated movies, tv shows, shorts, etc. that deserves respects and recognition. Unfortunately for him, none of the work he’s ever done falls into this category.

  16. Seth MacFarlane is kinda like that kid in high school that all the ‘regular’ kids thought was really funny but they didn’t realize he was just quoting jokes from Carlin and Pryor or something. Actually, I’m not saying that he rips folks off, just that he hasn’t added anything new to comedy.

    I find that I watch Family Guy on Adult Swim at night to fall asleep cause it can’t hold my attention. And if I laugh at a joke on the show, I kinda hate myself for a little bit.

  17. Don’t worry, Seth. It gets better.

  18. Whenever I watch Family Guy something is usually said/done that I find really racist, but I never hear anyone talking about Family Guy being racist, so I worry I am being too sensitive. Clearly since Seth MacFarlane feels his journey is akin to other famous black men, this entitles him to make race jokes. But seriously, am I too sensitive?

  19. See also: Chuck Lorre upset not to have received a MacArthur Genius Grant for work on Two and a Half Men

  20. Family Guy and the Cleveland Show are obviously brainless and horrible, but I feel no shame at all for my love for American Dad.

  21. i am quite sure there is not one person in hollywood that you can say has not said something outrageous. there are far things beyond the fart jokes and other ridiculous things. whereas people who watch simpsons, futurama, etc all see the same things because that is what the people who enjoy these things want. he has far more talent than anyone else and it seems as though going nuts with taking two phrases he said and then cutting him into pieces is ridiculous. it’s hard to be a person of status who stands for something because they tend to contradict themselves because the media portrays people in a certain way. all these shows have some sort of jokes that are racial, anti-semetic, etc. because there are characters in the show to portray different ways of life. cripple, jew, black guy, sex addicted guy it is to create variety. apparently nobody actually thinks things through. american dad is an even better portrayal of this considering there is a CIA agent with a hippie daughter, trophy wife, and geeky son. there is a reason for this people. are you all that close minded that you miust slaughter anything anyone says. i’m pretty sure there are far worse hollywood actors you could be criticizing. while trying to create a show that reaches out to a lot of people he is also talented in far more things. it is obvious that stardom has changed him—if you watch the special features of the early family guy dvds you would see the difference. once you get famous, people’s appearances change and once they say one thing they are scrutinized by haters such as yourself. you’re blind because you don’t think about the time spent creating these things. how long have they been in circulation and how long has he been doing different animations? hmmm..look it up, think about it. fucking SERIOUSLY

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