“Family Guy” hasn’t been shying away from the hot-button headlines this season. In the December 3 episode “Crimes and Meg’s Demeanor,” creator Seth MacFarlane and his writing team took a jab at Kevin Spacey for coming out as a gay man in the wake of a sexual harassment allegation. The joke occurred while Peter, Lois, and Meg were watching the end of “The Usual Suspects.” Instead of being shocked that Kevin Spacey’s character was actually Keyser Söze the whole time, Peter remarks, “Wait, he was gay the whole time?”
MacFarlane’s joke seems designed to criticize the reaction of many media outlets and more who, when reporting on Spacey’s apology, ignored the sexual harassment allegations against him and focused primarily on his coming out as a gay man. Spacey issued a statement on October 30 following a Buzzfeed article in which “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making sexual advances toward him.
“This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life,” Spacey wrote about the allegation. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy….in my life i have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”
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Spacey’s apology was seen by many to be a diversion tactic, and it’s one that relatively worked given how many stories were published that led with his coming out over the sexual harassment claim. Actors such as Zachary Quinto and organizations such as GLAAD slammed Spacey for deflecting the harassment issue by coming out as gay. The “Family Guy” joke is a pointed critique of Spacey’s reaction as well. Peter misses what’s actually important (the Söze reveal) and can only think about Spacey being gay.
The Spacey joke follows an awkward Ronan Farrow/Woody Allen joke from earlier this season on “Family Guy.” The writers despited Farrow as the misogynistic son of Frank Sinatra, which was oddly timed given that Farrow has been on the forefront of breaking stories about sexual harassment.
The “Family Guy” episode “Crimes and Meg’s Demeanor” is now streaming on Hulu.