Seth MacFarlane hadn’t personally heard the rumors of sexual abuse allegations against Kevin Spacey when FAMILY GUY first aired a joke on the subject in a 2005 episode.
The clip resurfaced twelve years later in recent days after multiple people, including Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, accused the former House of Cards star of sexual misconduct.
“I don’t remember who pitched the joke, that was a rumor I had not heard but other people in the room had,” series creator and executive producer MacFarlane said onstage during the show’s panel at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour Thursday.
“I was there and I too do not remember who pitched the joke, which means I did not pitch it,” added showrunner Alec Sulkin. “I think that was something where he was coming off a story where he had been beaten up in a park and he claimed that he was walking his dog late at night and he fell and I think that raised a lot of eyebrows.”
The joke, which involved a naked baby Stewie streaking through a mall and yelling, “Help! I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement!” somehow passed Fox’s standards and practices threshold.
“It’s one of the things in terms of Standards where if they heard the rumors, just as we have, then they’ll allow it,” Sulkin explained.
Linda Ge | TV Editor