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. Lynn

    Sarah Palin loves the limelight except when it gets too hot. Then she uses her kids to speak for herself. She must be careful not to bite the hand that writes her paychecks.

    February 16, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. m smith

    You can't have it both ways. If it was ok for Limbaugh as satire thenit is ok for family guy as satire. You cooked your own goose dummy. How long are you going to use your poor son anyway as a dupe to get you simpathy. ?

    February 16, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Peter and Stewie Forever!!

    She rips Rahm Emanuel for this, but when Rush Limbaugh does it as a "joke" she's ok with it because he was using it in satire. Wow does she think Family Guy is not satire? LOL At least be consistant in your idiocy!

    February 16, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Andy

    "The former Alaska governor said on her Facebook page that she was too angry to offer a coherent response..."
    Um, yeah. Angry. Try "ignorant"

    February 16, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. PDXSerric

    I hope she realizes she's just made this one of the most sought-after episodes of the year.

    Although I, too, disagree with purposeful and hateful jokes made at the expense of others, especially those with physical disabilities, there is such a thing in the entertainment world as ‘satire’.

    I believe she said such comments were okay as long as it was satire. At least if your last name is Limbaugh.

    Sorry, Sarah. Welcome to the life of a public figure.

    February 16, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  6. gentwelve

    Sarah Palin insults anyonw that doesn't agree with her Fascist views. Well then see what it is like to be on the other side Litle Miss Sunshine. If you dish it out, learn how to take it!

    She is a joke!

    February 16, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. P. D.

    Sarh Palin has lost any credibility when it comes to this. As a woman who has a Brain Damaged sister, I agreed that Rahm should have apologized(She went overboard calling for his resignation). But then sherhad the audacity to not only NOT to call out Limbaugh for his outrageous remarks. But she DEFENDED him by saying it was OK because it was a form of satire? Why would 'Family Guy' be any different? Unreal.

    February 16, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. Justin

    The message in that episode is that people with disabilities are just like regular people. They can be nice, or they can be jerks like anyone. This is America with the freedom of expression. You can't get angry when you call abuse on a subject you don't like when you attack the population who voted against you in 2008 every single day.

    February 16, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Double Standard?

    As long as it's anyone except Rush Limbaugh we should be outraged.

    Actually I was outraged about Rush too, but I'm learning more about how to apply double standards. It all depends on who says it on whether or not it's right or wrong.

    February 16, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. sylvie chen

    While I agree with Palin, I don't think she can act as a responsible spokesperson for children with developmental disabilities.
    It is too early to take on such a role.

    Her commitment to raising her child is commendable and the challenges will be in the future, not as simple as now responding to insensitive comedy for political fodder.

    There are many parents in the same situation. I raised my Downs syndrome daughter, seeing here graduate from high school but only to see her heart give out when she was 21. Never regretted the impact it had on our lives.

    My advice to her is to keep the politics in her bonnet and focus on your wonderful child. She seems to have a wonderful and supportive extended family. Your husband will help keep things in focus. Looks like a good guy going forward.

    February 16, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. paul

    I am amazed every day by what the media and broadcast television is allowed to put out there without retribution. One can't forget the early days of the Clinton administration when Saturday Night live routinely ridiculed Chelsea Clinton's looks without batting an eye and all for "humor".

    She was 12.

    Here we have Trig Palin, who was dealt a hardship that I don't think I could bare but he had no choice but to accept. With his family by his side and with their love, he will most likely make even the "Palin-haters" proud. I have heard more outrageous comments made about him from all over that it just is amazing that no one has been brought to task for it.

    February 16, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. LyseeEsq

    I can't stand Sarah Palin and most of her family. But family guy did go a little far by naming her to reference her kid. Family Guy is hilarious and equal opportunity when it comes to the insults but I do have a special place in my heart for special needs children.

    February 16, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Kevin

    First, I have complete lack of respect for Sarah Palin. That having been said, she is absolutely right in her criticism of this episode. Just because we have the right of free speech doesn't mean that we always have to say the meanest things we can think of. The right would call it being "politically correct," but sometimes hate speech is just that: plain hate and plain mean. It doesn't mean it should be illegal but I seriously question the ethics of people who would use speech to hurt others less fortunate than them.

    February 16, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Jon

    Do we really need someone who is unable to provide a coherent response to a satiric cartoon to be President of the United States. We need leaders who can respond under pressure, not someone who would refer to her daughter.

    February 16, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. JDF

    Oh poor, poor, Palin. Get over it. Better yet, go back to Alaska, then get over it. I am sick and tired of seeing her faux outrage over and over and over again.

    February 16, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Bassman

    I watched her choke back tears as she talked about Trig during her Tea Party speech. She has also talked about how this little boy keeps everything in perspective. If she had not had this little boy, the attacks she endures would have mattered more to her then they do. For the rest of her life she will have to care for him. Sounds to me like She needsTrig, just as much as Trig needs her.

    February 16, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. AG

    One of these days, Palin is going to realize that if you throw stones, stones get thrown back and innocent, helpless people will be hurt in the middle.

    February 16, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. indiana

    Shut up Palin. That was a great show. It wasn't really making fun of people with down syndrome especially when you consider that the woman was living by herself and was dating and acting just like any other person. If they wouldn't have said that she had DS you never would have know. I can' wait until they make one with you in it....I can see it now...the family goes to visit people in the loony bin and meet someone who thinks she is important and qualified to be president.

    February 16, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Good for her, let go Sarah.
    What else?

    February 16, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. PJaxParker

    Sarah got a dose of her own medicine. She is snarky and sarcastic and loves to make jabs at people, but when a cartoon character makes fun of her, OMG, she thinks that is unacceptable. Limbaugh can say anything he want's about "retards" and she is OK with that. What a hypocrite.

    February 16, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Peachy Keen

    Well, there you go folks. As your President, Sarah would make sure the First Amendment goes out the window.

    February 16, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. Winkandanod

    Looks like the going is getting tough over at Fox. Maybe she'll quit, again.

    Still waiting for the Palins to scold Rush Limbaugh for his insensitivity towards people with special needs, or as Rush would say, "retards."

    What...I'm not saying it. I'm saying what Rush said Rahm said.

    February 16, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. R.Lord

    I don't watch television generally, but the times that I have watched Family Guy at friends' houses have left me ROTFLMAO. A friend sent me a link to a song and dance routine about AIDs that was absolutely hilarious. The show is extremely irreverent, politically incorrect, but its humor does resonate with the irreverent among us who really just need to look at the world and have a good laugh. I would hate to see it censored.

    February 16, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Willow

    Sarah Palin, the money-grubbing shill, seen whining again, and hiding behind "Mini Me" Bristol to avoid being seen biting the hand which feeds her, "Faux" TV and to prevent her hypocrisy from becoming glaringly obvious to us again! These low class "sandboxers" have no one else to blame for the negative media attention they claim to receive. Afterall Mommy Dearest hauled that pathetic crew of substance abusers, failed virtuous daughters, and disabled baby onto the national stage–using them as props.....in photo ops...

    February 16, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Jean

    Alert Sarah! You are not the only person in the world who has a child with disabilities. Family Guy makes fun of EVERYONE. LOL They are an equal opportunity offender. Come on Sarah, get off your high horse. Saying you were too incoherent to issue a statement is an understatement. I've never seen a time when you were "coherent". Leave the writers of Family Guy alone and let them do what makes them so darn funny!

    February 16, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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