Seth MacFarlane Sounds Off on Prop 8, Transgender Controversy

Details posts an interview with Seth MacFarlane which appears in its new issue due August 10. MacFarlane touches on a variety of topics, including Proposition 8 and the show's transgender controversy.

SethMacFarlane_VArticle Details: Family Guy tackled gay marriage in its fourth season—two years before Prop 8.

Seth MacFarlane: The ridiculous thing about something like Prop 8 is that it will be overturned. They put something like $40 million into that campaign, and they might as well have just bet all that money on the Red Sox. It's wasted money because that civil-rights battle will be won eventually. They'll just have to sulk in a corner and accept the fact that gays will be able to marry each other. Every civil-rights conflict—black people, women—comes to an end in the right way.

Details: You predicted that another episode—about a transgendered character—would make the LGBT community happy. It didn't.

Seth MacFarlane: That surprised me. I don't meet a lot of stupid homosexuals. They seem to be a pretty smart bunch. But it seemed that they were not picking up on the fact that it was a very sympathetic portrayal of a transsexual character.

Details: Maybe the fact that Brian barfs his guts out when he realizes he's had sex with a transsexual threw them off.

Seth MacFarlane: Hey, we're still Family Guy.We're not suddenly going to become 7th Heaven. Actually, I guess on 7th Heaven they would probably burn the transsexual at the stake. Let me think of another example. We're not Mr. Belvedere. Look, Brian happens to be a heterosexual character, as I am. If I found out that I had slept with a transsexual, I might throw up in the same way that a gay guy looks at a vagina and goes, "Oh, my God, that's disgusting." It's just the way we're biologically wired. They should give that another look.

Read the entire interview, which touches on MacFarlane's mega-salary, the White House Correspondent's Dinner, and the Arizona immigration law, HERE.


  1. Zach says

    “Nothing but words, Seth. When have representations of GLBT characters on Family Guy (or any show in the stable) been remotely positive?”

    When have representations of anyone on Family Guy, American Dad, or the Cleveland Show ever been positive? MacFarlane’s an equal-opportunity offender. It’s fine if that’s a turn-off, but let’s not pretend that he exclusively singles homosexuality out for ridicule.

  2. bobbyjoe says

    Dear Seth MacFarlane,

    There haven’t been a lot of incidents of heterosexual women being viciously murdered by gay men because the gays don’t like the notion of vaginas. There have, however, been quite a few recent examples of the transgendered being attacked and/or murdered due to supposed “panic” by heterosexual men. See a difference?

    I know you “equal opportunity offender” types of lazy funny people like to pretend that everything in the world whatsoever has exactly the same social and political weight, but, really, it’s not rocket science. Grow the f*ck up.



  3. crispy says

    Seth MacFarlane: “That surprised me. I don’t meet a lot of stupid homosexuals.”

    Oh, honey, spend some time in the Towleroad comments forum. Meet Bill.

  4. TANK says

    Jonah, I think you’re overlooking the possibility that the gay characters on family guy may have been HIV positive…is that remote enough for you, mister man?

  5. mikee says

    Family Guy is always funny. The only thing that would offend me is if they started treating gays with kid gloves because they think we cant take a joke. funny is funny

  6. Musicboy says

    Fascinating. Family Guy regularly skewers Jews, blacks, Latinos, Asians, people in wheelchairs, and the mentally disabled and we either don’t care, or we think it’s hilarious. But when he mocks the GLBT community, we do our ritualized outrage dance.

    Here’s an idea. Turn it off if you don’t like it.

  7. says

    Methinks Seth’s privilege is showing.

    @musicboy; You’re an idiot. Sure we could just turn it off, but what about all the paranoid hetero boys watching that find the vomiting scene funny because it dehumanizes us? Who might then MURDER one of us because the show reinforced the attitude that we’re gross disgusting things worthy of scorn? If you don’t understand the issue, shut the hell up.

  8. TANK says

    I’m just sayin’ that crispy enjoys dancing for the patriarchy. Bill may be technically insane…but what does that prove other than that he’s incapable of rational analysis? Crispy likes to dance for the “haterosexuals” because he feels like he belongs. Dance faster, boy! FASTER! Another comment made of win.

  9. Musicboy says


    “Sure we could just turn it off, but what about all the paranoid hetero boys watching that find the vomiting scene funny because it dehumanizes us? Who might then MURDER one of us because the show reinforced the attitude that we’re gross disgusting things worthy of scorn?”

    Give me a huge break. I challenge you to point me to ONE instance of someone being murdered because of an episode of Family Guy. Just one.

    The people who would murder us don’t need Family Guy to tell them to.

    And no, I won’t shut the hell up. And guess what, there’s nothing you can’t do about it, so nyah.

  10. DataCold says

    Hell I can’t think of any instance where a character on Family Guy was portrayed in a positive manor. Every cast member main or support character are complete and udder idiots! Gay/Straight/Black/White/Latino/Asian Correspondent Trisha Tokanowa/and greased up Deaf guy are all horrible people that should burn in hell… just like real life! 😀

  11. Steve says

    I find the responses on here very interesting, considering the reaction of this community when other things trans related have been brought up here. All you have to do to see how anti-trans the gay community is is to go and read the comments from when Chaz Bono was transitioning. They’re vicious! If I’m not mistaken, they got so bad that Andy had to step in and censor / delete some of them.

    Seth MacFarlane is a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community. Family Guy HAS gone down hill of late, but it’s still doing the job of lampooning the human condition and showing how ridiculous we all can be.

  12. David says

    He creates a ridiculous brand of comedy loaded with incredibly positive insights. We allow our defensiveness to poison our sense of humor and we’re totally screwed.

  13. daws says

    Lord, give the guy a break. Seth supports equality. As a gay man, I’d be sick/uncomfortable if I slept with a transgendered too (or a woman for that matter).

  14. B says

    Family Guy and its actors are champions of equal rights. In the episode, Quagmire(sp?) reconciles with his father and accepts him. Clearly everyone misses out on the lessons @ the end of the show. But, I happen to not be one of those stupide homosexuals (as seth so gently put it lol)

    but there are those in every community that will ignore the lampooning of other communities, but get outraged when the spotlights on their’s.

    Selective outrage is stupid, just like selectively choosing which religious bible (or other names for it) teachings to follow.

  15. Clifw says

    Let’s not forget that the vomiting dog (and let’s also not forget the character is an animated talking canine with a stock portfolio) had an entire episode based around his fight to have his gay cousin’s marriage recognised.

    Whilst I think FG goes too quickly to the vomit jokes sometimes, Brian’s reaction- shock that he slept with a transsexual and didn’t realise it, shock that he slept with Quagmire’s dad, shock at the realisation that this is just another reason for Quagmire to hate him- seemed pretty appropriate. There’s been a long-running joke that Brian is not nearly as liberal as he’d like to think he is.

    I can’t believe I just wrote an analysis of a FG character.

  16. Tib says

    I thought that episode was great, and the puke joke was by far one of the show’s best.

    And I think Jasper is a positive depiction, or about as positive as you can get and still be Family Guy. His “Send me out to sea!” line cracks me up every single time.

  17. Beahbeah says

    As a gay man, I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life, but I have NEVER lost my sense of humor. That’s what pisses me off about the gay movement these days, everything is so overly PC and way too sensitive. Seth is an equal opportunity offender and I would expect nothing less from him. Offend me, please! Put me in the same boat as everybody else, when you stop doing that, we’ve got a problem. Lighten up gay people and learn how to pick your battles.

    Oh yeah, Seth is a total hottie. Watching him on Larry King right now.

  18. nic says

    seth is a good man and ally. he has been supportive of the gay community for a long time. what is more absurd than a dog throwing up after having sex with a transsexual? fuck you if you can’t take a joke.

  19. david says

    Why even watch Family Guy unless you are a frat boy? It is only funny or intelligible if you are a frat boy, which is to say if you are a smug, privileged guy who thinks you understand the world better than everyone else does. The show was made by and for frat boys. It’s whole “yes-this-joke-is-mysoginist-but-is-also-a-loving-reference-to-oldschool-broadway-musicals” seems interesting and complex to only one type of person: you guessed it, frat boys. And the thing about frat boys is they have equal contempt for all people who aren’t like them. And they are too vain and well-socialized to really care enough to hate transexuals.

    This is all to say, Seth doesn’t seem to me a worthy target.

  20. Rey says

    OMG, Nic’s comment is exactly spot-on and bears repeating:

    “what is more absurd than a dog throwing up after having sex with a transsexual? fuck you if you can’t take a joke.”

    Seth is a huge ally.

  21. TANK says


    OMG! Who the fuck talks this way in real life? ha ha ha ha…I think a tornado forgot a trailer park.

  22. Tyler says

    My favorite of Seth’s shows is American Dad. They’ve done a bunch of “gay” themed episodes which i feel have been very pro-gay. They had Francine be the surrogate for their gay neighbors across the street, Stan realized being gay wasn’t a choice in a hilarious episode about the Log Cabin Rebublicans. So if he doesn’t do pro gay episodes on Family Guy, he does do them on American Dad. Which is his best show anyway.

  23. Dave says

    With friends like these who needs enemies? Indeed, with posts like posts like those who needs enemas? Get a grip boys… We’ve got to hang together or surely well all hang separately. In the meantime, I’ll take every opportunity to laugh out loud and proud with the knowledge that nothing is funnier that a sacred cow.

  24. Tortoise says

    Seth doesn’t make jokes about gays to hate them. He makes them just as he makes them about certain religions and races and such. He’s not causing any problems. It’s not like he would actually want to offend people.

    Hetero boys will always be the same. If a kid was bashing you and you asked him why, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t say, “I saw it on Family Guy. And if I do things I see on TV it makes me cool for all the kids at school. Herp derp.”
    And if he does, let’s face it. Family guy has material on everything. There’s no way there hasn’t been at least one joke on that show that relates to everyone.

    And even if Seth were to change his ways on the show, which by the way would ruin the show seeing as Family Guy lives off of the jokes it makes and changing it would just throw it in the shitter, is this really the only show that makes fun of people?

    You could be bitching about all the same stuff about South Park. Just about every ignorant teen boy I know that watches Family Guy also watches South Park. Not to mention South Park does far worse than Family Guy on the same topics.

    Okay, I’ve released enough of my mind on you people. Have a nice protest or whatever it is you’re gonna do to complain about this.

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