There’s an hour-long Family Guy/Simpsons episode airing this Sunday, which I suppose makes some weird, synergy-estic! sense over on Fox. The problem is, the humor on the two shows isn’t compatible. At its best, The Simpsons is sweet, smart, and satirical, while The Family Guy at its best (and worst) is crude, scatalogical, and finds humor in something like a prankster in a clown costume sneaking up behind a guy with a pistol, yelling, “Give me all your money,” only when he reaches for his wallet, instead of taking his money, he pulls down his victim’s pants, pulls a rabbit out of his rectums and runs away.
It’s funny because it’s not what you’re expecting. That’s what’s at play here with the rape joke that The Family Guy’s Stewie springs on The Simpsons.
Bart begins with a hilariously juvenile joke — similar to the one’s he’s been pulling on Moe for decades — and Stewie ups the ante by the power of one million by trotting out one of those classic, “Your sister is being raped” jokes!
Oh, ha ha, Stewie.
The Parents Television Council did not take kindly, releasing this statement:
Rape is never a laughing matter. Never. But particularly in light of our nation’s growing concern for high-profile cases of domestic abuse; and particularly at a time when rape on college and university campuses appears to be endemic; it is simply indefensible for a broadcaster to use the publicly-owned airwaves to make tasteless and senseless jokes about rape. Today, we urgently renew our call on the Fox Broadcast Network - as well as the creators of The Simpsons and Family Guy - to remove the rape joke and any others from Sunday’s crossover episode broadcast.
Is the rape joke offensive? Well, yes, and good God, it doesn’t belong on The Simpsons, which is a show that a lot of younger kids watch (even if they don’t understand all the jokes). Can you imagine how many 13 year old kids are going to start playing that “You’re sister’s being raped” joke on their friends now? There’s going to be a whole new level to Sharks and Minnows.
That said, I could definitely see Cartman pulling off the joke on South Park without anyone’s eyebrows being raised, and Sarah Silverman could do an entire bit about that joke, throw in some pedophilia, and the Holocaust and still get away with it because she’s Sarah Silverman, and context matters.
But Stewie, on The Simpsons? On network television? On an animated show that kids watch? The $1 million Seth MacFarlane contributed to LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow Kickstarter can only get him so fucking far.
via The Mary Sue