February 16th, 2010
10:06 PM ET
8 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. AC

    Family Guy has poked fun at everyone – every ethnic group, both genders ... you name the group and they have made fun of them.

    However the real reason Mrs Palin had her daughter make the announcement was that Sarah couldn't fit all of her comments on her hand!!

    February 16, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. chesapeakephil

    what that a moosesteak or done on purpose? i think we should have congressional investigations.

    February 16, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. rtard23

    either all of it is funny or none of it is funny.

    And they weren't "mocking" your brother, they were making fun of your hypocritical mother...

    February 16, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. Ddoc

    as much as I hate Palin, I'm with her family on this one. There's a lot to mock out there – leave these kids alone

    February 16, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Democrat in Ohio

    I gotta side with the Palin's on this one. Unusual that Fox network would allow such a thing seeing how she is their golden child. They can make fun of Sarah all they want but should leave her special needs child out of it. Bad form Fox!

    February 16, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. Walka

    Palin, let it go! Family Guy makes fun of everyone and everything. That's the beauty of it! They don't descriminate about who they make fun of. They make fun of overweight folks, and homosexuals, they even throw in some jokes concerning race and ethnicity. They make fun of corporations, and businesses, and foundations.... I could go on forever. Point is, it's just comedy. We all need to accept and be comfortable with who and what we are so we can just laugh with others about ourselves and all that's in life. Plus, there's a certain toll that comes with being a known politician or (wo)man of fame. You chose it for yourself, the spot-light that is, so accept it. Lighten up and just live your day as it is. Stressing about such a trivial show of entertainment is only going to turn your hair gray a little sooner.

    Thanks all,
    and Goodnight!

    February 16, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Steve Jones

    Once again PC takes over. If Sarah Palin watched Family Guy and other satire like it, she would be more aware of the fact that nobody is off limits. Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park - they don't pull punches for anyone. Perhaps she could consider the alternative: if such shows make fun of almost everyone, wouldn't it be offensive to NOT make fun of those with disabilities? In doing aren't you telling people with disabilities "you're different than everyone else and not able to handle being made fun of like everyone else." Just something alternative to consider.

    That said, Palin's comments clearly mean nothing since withholds outrage when an ally uses the word "retard."

    February 16, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. jennifer

    Too bad your mom didn't feel that way about Rush's comments too.

    February 16, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. nathan smith ga

    palin is a heartless jerk for jerking her children around the polititcal stage so people would vote for her cause of her child having a disability. Palin uses her child to her political benifit she is a poor excuse of a mother.

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. MIke - South Miami

    Be careful Sarah. You are kicking in the mouth the network that is paying you a lot of money for you campaigning their specific agenda but stil making sure that they put our general entertainment that makes fun of a lot of individuals, including gays, minorities, femenists, etc.. They may drop you like a hot potato – remember revenue trumps politics especially at FOX!

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  11. Mitch

    It's called Satire...ask Rush Limbaugh about that.

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. JW in Missouri

    So, Rush Limbaugh is "satirical" and Family Guy is downright mean-spirited?

    Where was Sarah Palin's compassion when her stump speeches derided single mothers and LGBT Americans? Where was her compassion when people shouted "Muslim" and "Kill [Obama]" during her speeches?

    By the way, your children become fair game for satire when you either A) use them to sell yourself or B) use your bully pulpit to denigrate the children of other Americans. Sarah Palin has repeatedly done both and her family deserves all the blowback it receives.

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Perusing-through


    She can attack Fox's 'Family Guy' for use of the 'down-syndrome'; but give big mouth Rush Limbaugh a fat mushy kiss and a pass to boot for his constant brutal use of the term on his public broadcast to millions of people.

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. Get Over It

    Shame on Fox for showing a normal guy going on a date with a girl with Down Syndrome like she was normal or something. There is nothing insulting about the clip at all... frankly all dogs should be more insulted than Sarah. How long and hard can Sarah ride the DS pity train, not every reference to special needs is about you Sarah. ... Oh wait....

    February 16, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. little red

    oh whatever, the show wasn't making fun of people with DS, the character with the condition was revealed to be just like everyone else, including the capability of being petty and mean. if anything, the shows point was that those with DS are the same as everyone else.

    sounds like someone just wants some attention. why can't she just watch russia? (since she can apparently see it from her backyard)

    February 16, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Tony Justin

    Even a broken clock is correct twice a day and so it is with Sarah Palin. On this issue, I have to agree with Sarah. The Family Guy goes over the line on a pretty regular basis, and why do the adult humans understand the dog but not the baby?

    February 16, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  17. piehead

    It's time for Sarah Palin to go away.

    February 16, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. don

    Hold on there Sarah Girl. Bless your little soul, your're trying so hard. I'm going to use small words for you here so you can keep up. At no point in the Family Guy episode did he make fun of your son. He made fun of you. Rush Limbaugh called you out as the politically correct media crying about the word retard. It was not satire. He called you out and you, in his words "had her people call me in a near panic."
    Call your bosses at Fox and quit if Family Guy upset you. Quitting is what you do so well.

    February 16, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Ed

    Oh my, the hand wringing on the left!!

    "What do we do?" – "I don't know"

    "Do we defend Family Guy or Palin?"


    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. mrsb

    Once again, she gets to use her handicapped son in a publicity ploy. This is similar to parading him around on national television during the campaign. Just can't see the parental dedication here......

    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. brian from VA

    Sarah Palin said a week ago that using the word "retard" was acceptable if done in a satire or parody commenting on Rush Limbaugh's use of the word. Family Guy falls under satire/parody. Unless only republicans can use the word.

    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. BB

    Hmm..and she's actually right.

    Now let's watch all the dogmatic liberals launch into an intolerant, closed minded rage.

    Ah, morons with keyboards, how I love ye.

    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. ATL Mike

    Seth Macfarlane is obviously running out of material.
    I'm not necessarily against the bit on moral grounds, but he's obviously reaching and has recently registered more misses than hits. The show now seems content to shock its viewers and is less concerned with the sharp humor that made it popular and fun to watch.
    Maybe it's time for Seth to retrain old-school style in Siberia...just sayin'.

    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. ChuckJ

    Shame on Family Guy. Im sure liberals will come out in full force and use this story to take more cheap shots on Palin, but remember something. If Obama's daughters were jabbed at in this sort of way, everyone would be up in arms over it demanding firings, etc, etc.

    I think its pretty tasteless for Family Guy to use Trig to throw cheap shots at Palin. Like her or not, if you cant admit the amount of negativity coming from the media/hollywood toward her is at such a high level than you are blind. Its been a long time since I can remember the media and hollywood hating one person so much and doing all they can to make fun, hate, etc.

    February 16, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Terry - Indiana

    Well, let's see if Fox bends over for dear Sarah.

    February 16, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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