'Family Guy': Funny or just plain offensive?

Posted on 10 May 2010 at 8:25am

MothersDay_AnimatedShows_R2_fGuyFYou wanna see the trans community really pissed off, you can forget about Israel Luna’s transploitation film — look no further than last night’s “Family Guy.”

The animated series, which is historically very gay-friendly while also being patently offensive to gay people (for instance: Baby Stewie is clearly gay, while they have songs that mock AIDS) went all-out hateful against the trans community in last night’s episode, “Quagmire’s Dad.”

In the ep, womanizing neighbor Quagmire introduced everyone to his dad, a heroic veteran who announced he is having sexual reassignment surgery.

At first, the jokes are silly but funny-ish about the discomfort people have with transgenders. (“Do you miss your penis?” someone asks.) But the discomfort escalates, especially after Brian the dog has sex with the post-op woman, and upon learning she was trans, violently vomits for 29 seconds. That’s a long time on TV. And there’s no coda at the end, no “let’s make up and be friends” apologia.

But really, should we be surprised? Animated series like “Family Guy” and especially “South Park” have long pushed boundaries of good taste and political correctness.  I think it’s possible to just take the episode as another “ah, well, they have no sacred cows.” But I can imagine the trans community being up in arms.

What does everyone think: Humor we just accept as legitimate satire? Or line-crossing insensitive claptrap?

You can watch the episode here.

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