February 16th, 2010
10:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin slams Fox’s ‘Family Guy’

Sarah Palin expressed outrage at the Fox Broadcasting Company program 'Family Guy'.
Sarah Palin expressed outrage at the Fox Broadcasting Company program 'Family Guy'.

Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin expressed outrage at a Fox Broadcasting Company television program for deriding people with Down syndrome and making an apparent reference to her 22-month-old son, Trig, who has the genetic disorder.

The former Alaska governor said on her Facebook page that she was too angry to offer a coherent response so she had her daughter, Bristol, release a full statement on the family’s behalf.

The Palins directed their criticism at the prime time Fox cartoon, “Family Guy.” In Sunday’s episode, a teenaged female character with Down syndrome told another character that “my mom is the former governor of Alaska.” A song and dance routine by another character also used language that ridiculed people with disabilities.

“People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut,” Palin, a Fox News contributor, said in the statement posted Monday evening on her Facebook page. “Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, ‘when is enough, enough?’”

Bristol Palin’s statement was posted below her mother’s Facebook entry.

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin,” Bristol Palin said. “My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them?

“As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks.”

Fox Broadcasting – which, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp. – did not comment on the Palins’ response to the show.


Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Observer

    I don't see why she is offended. They did not really make fun of people with down syndrome as much as they portrayed them as regular people (attends school, dates, has friends. smart – after all, she bossed Chris around for a while).
    More importantly, this is Family Guy. I am of Arabic origin, and no one gets more jabs than Arabs on this show. I enjoyed for what it is; a funny, often politically incorrect show. And I love it because they don't spare anyone, now that is fair and balanced.

    February 16, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Joshua

    While I disagree this woman's politics, it's appalling to mock Palin for her championship of disability rights. This part of her is an easy target, and mocking her son only detracts from other facets of her agenda needing real attention.

    February 16, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. Paul

    I don't like Sarah as a politician, but this is an outrage. That show's always been too politically incorrect with its jokes. But what can I say? It's one of the Fox networks. They never watch their words.

    February 16, 2010 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    But it was satire! I thought Governor Palin was OK with the R-word if it was satire!

    February 16, 2010 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. Harley, Las Vegas, NV

    Family Guy insults every different type of person. If you don't like it, don't watch it. Don't let your children watch it. I don't think that the Palin's should be worrying about a cartoon taking a swipe at them for completely exploiting their sons' disability during the presidential campaign. That was more or less the main message of the Palin reference in the episode. Considering how the Palin's have an unwed teenage daughter with a a baby whose father walked out and considering the fact that Sarah Palin couldn't even finish her first term as Governor of Alaska, I think they should be more concerned with the snubs (justifiable ones) coming from more reputable sources... not cartoons.

    February 16, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Seth MacFarlane

    Perhaps you should watch the entire episode and realize the ultimate message. I know, an understanding of the layered nuances of dialogue is not exactly your forte. You went with the sound bite- the sound bite that clearly ruffled your narcisstic feathers.

    You claim that a lot of your comments are "taken out of context." Upon reviewing each of your interviews/diatribes, one realizes there is no apparent "context"- just a salad of words. In the case of Sunday's FG episode, though, there was an important backdrop against which the intelligent viewer was meant to consider the commentary.

    You are showing your colors- or, your double digit IQ and political posturing- yet again. Thanks for the laughs!

    February 16, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Brian

    "she was too angry to offer a coherent response" When has she ever been able to give a coherent response? It's funny how she is free to hate and mock whomever, but suddenly when she is the apparent target then all of a sudden the line has been crossed. Granted the episode could definitely be described as crass, the character was shown as, and treated like, everyone else in Show.

    February 16, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. Phil

    Family Guy rocks!!! Keep the insults coming!

    February 16, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  9. Kalysia

    It is apparent when creators of a program have run out of ideas. They stoop so low as to produce such pathetic, loathsome drivel as FOX has allowed to air this season. It is almost difficult to believe that people can be so disrespectful. The Palin family has every right to be angry. Being in the public eye may make them targets, but this is a line that never should have been crossed.

    February 16, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Karen

    Is Palin a heartless JERK also, for basically labeling Obama a terrorist and conjuring up hate during her silly campaign? Implying that Obama was a terrorist after HE defended her and her family and ordered his staff to not go after her pregnant teen daughter... Palin is pathetic hypocrite.

    February 16, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Christopher

    She just need s to pretend that is was Rush Limbaugh who said it. Then it would be OK with her.

    February 16, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. Dan

    I thought Sarah said it was ok to make fun of things if they were in satire...or is that just when a conservative talking head uses language? I also think she needs to look up "satire" because Rush's use of the language wasn't in satire, it was calling a group of individuals the "R" word...but then when a show that is created purely for sarcasm, satire, and humor...it's not acceptable to (in an animated comedy tv show) point out her ridiculous over the top response to Rham Emanuel using the "R" word....give me a break....is anyone else sick of this walking contradiction?

    February 16, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. spammie

    Why won't this ridiculous woman go away. She could not be more of an idiot.

    February 16, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. Ryan

    Why must we hear her thoughts on everything? I'm tired of the feigned outrage – I understand it is close to her heart, but she selectively focuses outrage on the easy targets but withers when she could show a little gumption and attack one of her own (i.e. Rush) who uses the same offensive language. And I'm sure her proponents will give her a complete pass...God bless our country if she becomes President, since we are going to need all the help we can get.

    February 16, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Monica A.

    Palin, PLEEEEEEEESE go somewhere and never show your face again. You are pathetic.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  16. Slider

    I wouldn't worry too much about what people who watch programs like "Family Guy".

    Most people who watch these cartoon sitcoms like "The Simpsons" and such are mentally stunted anyway.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  17. maria

    boo hoo. I feel so sorry for her. Yeah, right! How many people has she offended. Give me a break.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. RBbrighton

    Family Guy is an "Equal Opportunity Offender." Deal with it.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  19. Frank

    Sarah Palin wants the public attention and now she has it. She probably doesn't like it now. She is all talk and no power. The folks that line up behind her would line up behind (rev) Jim Jones.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Josh

    Meh. I'm offended by Sarah Palin's claim that she's capable of running a country, so I guess we're all even.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Concerned

    If you get so angry that you can't offer a coherent response and need your teenage daughter ( not your husband or parents) to respond. How will you handle leaders from non-friendly countries? They know exactly what buttons to push.

    Will you quit Fox now and take your ball and play in the street?

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. Neeraj Rajasekar

    Okay, that was a harsh joke for Family Guy to make, but I don't think Palin's reaction is genuine. She was probably only ticked because of the direct dig at her. Also, Family Guy makes sexist jokes and racist jokes and religion jokes...the list is long. Where's Palin making statements that she hated some of the black jokes or the Jew jokes? Just because she has a disabled child doesn't mean she should be more offended by disabled jokes than racist ones.

    February 16, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Joshua College Station Texas

    I agree with Bristol.

    February 16, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. Evelyn Sweeney

    I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin but for Family Guy to ridicule Palin's baby boy is pathetic and a reflection on the pathetic mentality of the show. He is a beautiful innocent baby who will face a lifetime of challenges and deserves all the support that his family and society can give him. Palin's a public figure and up for grabs but her children are not. Fox Broadcasting as usual blows it!

    February 16, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  25. Bored NJ

    Headline: Sarah Palin Slams [insert un-newsworthy event]

    Sarah Palin will slam a restaurant door if she thinks it'll get her some face time on the news. Fox needs its millions of Family Guy viewers more than they need her unique brand of stupid opinions. How long until she resigns from this job to focus on some other 'initiative?'

    February 16, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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