I’ve never been a big Family Guy fan — I understand its appeal, but it’s just a little too broad and a little too let’s-rip-off-the-Simpsons-for-cash for me. Although I’ll admit that Stewie does have his moments.
And now we see how shock cartooning can come back to bite you: sometimes events in real life intrude and make you look bad. Back in March, Fox aired an episode of Family Guy, entitled Turban Cowboy, in which Peter wins the Boston Marathon by mowing down runners with his car. Yeah, that happened. In the same episode, Peter unwittingly blows up a bridge with a terrorist’s cell phone. And somehow, Bob Costas is involved. Fox has pulled the episode from Hulu, and from its rerun lineup. It has no plans to bring it back.
In the episode, which originally aired March 17, protagonist Peter Griffin is asked by sports announcer Bob Costas about his performance at the marathon. A flashback shows Peter mowing down runners with his car.
“I’ll tell ya, Bob, I just got in my car and drove it,” Griffin says. “And when there was a guy in my way, I killed him.”
But unfortunately for creator Seth MacFarlane, the problem doesn’t end there. Someone joined the above-mentioned clips in a YouTube video, arranging them in a way that, falsely, makes it look like Peter set off the bomb at the Boston Marathon. It fooled a lot of people into thinking that the episode predicted the tragedy, and MacFarlane, as one might imagine, was not amused.
The edited Family Guy clip currently circulating is abhorrent. The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) April 16, 2013
There are a couple of stills from the episode that are all over Google Images right now, but which I’m not going to post here. Likewise with the hoax video: it’s not hard to find if you really want to see it.