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. Stov

    Never have liked "Family Guy", watched it several times for content and was disappointed. I realize it's difficult to be a comedic show and not make fun of something, but keep it to situations and not select people.

    February 16, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. California transplant

    Sorry Ms. Palin – this really showed your uncompassionate and shallow side. I guess those who are less fortunate are only those who can afford health care, as opposed to the poor. Also, you claim that you were too upset to comment – yeah, right – slamming Fox would mean slamming your employer, who has had this double standard all along.

    Also, Family Guy has had another disadvantaged character – Joe, a paralyzed policeman – for most of the show's run. Joe is protrayed as being paert of teh gang, although humorous references are made to his condition often. I see your silent about all this – how come? It's OK as long as you're not involved?

    Tell you what – take the moral high road and resign from Fox in protest.........

    February 16, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  3. Steve, New York City

    Dear members of the media. It is beyond me why some of you choose to continue bombarding us with the musings of this half-wit.

    February 16, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. DJ

    It's kinda sad that humor is taking serious. Have the Palin's seen other episodes of FG? Have them seen the ones where just about everyone is made fun of? Has Bristol ever laughed at a FG joke about someone/thing else? As for people with disabilities being "some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet"... some are, but I've met more that are not nice and not loving; and down right selfish and feel entitled and are mean and cruel. So the best thing we can do for those with disabilities is to treat them the same as everyone else, and that means making fun too.

    February 16, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Dieux

    Who is Palin and why do we keep extending her 15 mins?

    February 16, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. Reality Ron

    Limbaugh & Beck-heads are bursting all over America. "What do we do," they say..."We're supposed to love Fox but now Queen Sarah is telling us not to. Our little heads are going to pop!"

    February 16, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Elliot

    "when is enough, enough?" – so.... what are you going to do about it? Suck it up like a grown adult, or move to censor unpopular speech?

    February 16, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    And Rush will say that all Downs babies look like Chinese midgets, and Sarah will slap her knee and laugh right along with his brand of "satire".

    February 16, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. vibes

    Sarah and her hypocrite family

    February 16, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  10. Dani from AZ

    big whoop that family guy makes fun of someone....thats what the show is about! Stop complaining about everyone who pokes your finger at you...you did put you and your family in the spotlight after all...part of the job

    February 16, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Chris Dempsey

    Family Guy is pretty much the best show ever made... It makes my life easier and better almost everyday so I guess it evens out! Let the haters hate :~)

    February 16, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. nick

    I'm confused...Didn't Palin excuse Rush Limbaugh's use of the word retard for satirical purposes? Now Family Guy makes use of a character with Down's Syndrome for satire and she's offended.

    This woman cannot seem to muster a coherent argument without revealing her childlike logic and narcissism.

    February 16, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Barbara

    Sarah suck it up! Are you going to blast everyone that uses the "R" word. I believe you make these complaints to stay in the lime light. Voice your opinions to your "family", this will prevent your "attention getting behavior!"

    February 16, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. jimmm

    Still waiting for her to slam Limbaugh.....Family Guy is a CARTOON...Get real

    February 16, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Why are people giving this person some much air time? All she does is complain!!!!

    February 16, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Family Guy is consistently tasteless. This is well known. It is possible, though apparently unthinkable, to simply not watch it. I choose not to.

    February 16, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. Gary Dickson

    I agree with the Palin family's outrage. While I support freedom of speech and have often enjoyed the Family Guy, I think this particular episode goes too far. Mocking someone with a disability or having special needs only demonstrates that the show's creators and writers are scraping the bottom of the barrel for story ideas. And, as Bristol Palin said, the only thing Fox and Family Guy's creators showed us "is that they're heartless jerks." This episode was not satire or humor. It was mean, spiteful drivel.

    February 16, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. Houston Mom

    Sorry Sarah, but Family Guy is more interesting and much closer to reality than your family.

    February 16, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. b in FL

    First off, I am in no way a Sarah Palin fan but I agree that if the show made a direct reference to her and her child that was in very poor taste. Having said that, when is Sarah going to develop a tough skin and stop using her disabled child as a political tool because she jumps on the opportunity to do so at every possible moment. To Sarah, the world now revolves around her...NOT! And CNN, why are you always contributing to her already overinflated ego!!

    February 16, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. nick

    Of course this outrageous, it wasn't said by Limbaugh. Palin is an idiot.

    February 16, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  21. Gary

    Oh, so it's anger why your not coherent. I thought it was just your ignorence.

    February 16, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. caw

    Poor Sara,
    When is she going to ask her friend Rush to stop using the word 'retard'? It seems that she only offers outrage to people she doesn't consider her (political?) supporters and lets her 'friends' do as they please.
    Insincerity never helps a cause and she should have some shame for using her children as political footballs.

    February 16, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  23. jo

    I bet she laughs when they make fun of everyone else say a black President? She is retarded, because the show actually did a good job of showing people with down syndrome can be like regular people. Of course, since this is typical conservative reaction to something not that controversial what more can you expect. I also wouldn't pick a fight with a guy who owns an entire night of network programing.

    February 16, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    So now Sarah Palin is a whining Liberal Socialist? Telling people what they should our shouldn't say? Welcome to the bleeding heart club Sara.

    February 16, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. christian

    Family Guy is notorious for making politically incorrect, demeaning, and just downright offensive comments. It's what's funny to a huge percentage of the younger populace, and it's why Family Guy has been so successful. This style of writing has been around for decades, since the dawn of SNL, and it sure won't be going away anytime soon.

    The Palins aren't the first targets of Family Guy, and they won't be the last. Sarah Palin just needs to learn that as long as she is basking in the spotlight, she is going to be a target of political satires and TV shows like Family Guy.

    Honestly, who in the media hasn't been the target of Family Guy at some point since it began its run over ten years ago?

    I find it interesting that the Fox, which Sarah Palin swears allegiance to, is the source of this comment. It's almost as though the writers wanted it that way....

    February 16, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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