Animators nationwide declare this Sunday as a “Great Day of Apology” due to the airing of the 200th episode of Family Guy on Fox.
What began as a true comeback story for then little known animator Seth McFarlane and his show Family Guy has since evolved into an ever-present, waking nightmare for animators, cartoonists, and creative professionals everywhere. First cancelled pre-maturely in its third season, the animated sitcom Family Guy was revived due to a ferocious fan following that the show accrued during its syndication on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block. The show initially started off as an off-the-wall, over-the-top comedy that garnered praise due to its bold and inventive shucking of conventionality in favor of outright absurdity. However as it progressed through its revival the show’s writing became increasingly banal, repetitive, racist, lazy, and tiresome. “It was a show that really paved the way for a lot of what we’d do here at Adult Swim,” said Keith Crofford, one of the heads of William’s Street LLC (the production company behind Adult Swim), “But now, I don’t know. It doesn’t feel right, I’m saying that and I green-lit Xavier Renegade Angel. That’s how bad things have gotten.” His partner, Mike Lazzo, could not be reached for comment as of the writing of this article.
Other animators and television writers express their distress over Family Guy’s milestone episode: “It’s really gotten out of hand,” Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch says on behalf of writers and animators everywhere, “We should’ve known better; I don’t know how we let this happen”. Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, co-creators of the cult-hit Venture Bros declared a hunger strike that would last “until Fox decides to do the humanitarian thing and allow us to advance as a species.” Even overseas animators are feeling the blues as Shinichirō Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) laments, “I don’t think it was cancer that took Satoshi Kon’s [director of Perfect Blue, Paprika, among others] life at age 34, I believe it was the fact that more people have watched every episode of Family Guy than have seen any one of his films. I believe this very fact murdered his soul.”
Some animators have even taken up arms against the show, attempting to threaten McFarlane’s behemoth: A Pixar representative was quoted as saying “We’re not trying to be overtly hostile here, but if this doesn’t stop we’ve got four words for the American public: Four more Cars sequels,” a statement the rep let hang in the air before continuing, “If people want to fork over their time and money for absolute tripe, we are more than willing.” In Japan acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki threatened to let his son, Goro, make another film. “If a 201st episode airs I’ll let him do a sequel to Spirited Away,” the disgruntled animator growled during a press conference in Koganei, Tokyo. Even the normally serene Lauren Faust, creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, had some terse feelings on the matter. On her DeviantArt page she made a journal outlining her plan to allow self-titled ‘Bronies’ to write the upcoming season of the new show if Family Guy is not stopped, ending on the note that she hopes this extreme plan would prove that “nothing is worse than Family Guy, even a children’s television show being handed over to the internet.”
When asked to comment on the outrage boiling over in the animation industry McFarlane could only talk liberal rhetoric, citing that he had “indeed made the first gay baby in television history” and that “the overt bestiality references in the show really make you question whether our society is right about that issue or not. Also Brian is me.”
-Kit Jaspering is a freelance illustrator and comic book artist, you can follow his own vain attempts to live in a creative industry that he openly loathes at: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/boneitis/
And yet, Kit won’t get rid of his Family Guy sweatpants.