There’s a pretty good profile of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane in this week’s New Yorker. The basic theme behind the piece is how Seth MacFarlane is desperate for comedic legitimacy and respect in addition to his incredible success, which, OK, sure, maybe? I don’t know. It seems like he’s respected just fine? He’s doing great. Does he want Woody Allen to publicly declare him a genius? Because even if that happened, who cares? And it’s hard to imagine who he’s jealous of that he thinks is operating at his level but also maintaining some kind of incredible artistic integrity that no one would ever dare question. That’s barely a thing. You kind of get one or the other in this world. (And, as the New Yorker profile itself points out, “abortion, AIDS, bestiality, Down syndrome, and rape are favorite comedic motifs.” I don’t think Seth MacFarlane is confused about what he finds funny, so why is he confused about why other people might not find this “respectable”?) I guess it just goes to show you that everyone, no matter how successful, is desperately struggling to get something else. WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU FART. (That’s Seth MacFarlane’s throw pillow.) Unfortunately, in describing his desire for legitimacy/respect, Seth MacFarlane once again compares his career as a multi-millionaire primetime animator of anti-Semitic Down syndrome rape jokes to the historic plight for civil rights:
“There’s a prejudice against the medium of animation,” MacFarlane said to me recently. Although he is the highest-paid writer-producer in television history, he feels it acutely: “I don’t care about winning awards, but it’ll be nice to do something that is perceived as slightly more significant.
“‘The Simpsons’ is a show that outclasses any number of live-action sitcoms, and it has never got any recognition,” he went on. “It’s like Sammy Davis, Jr., at the Sands. Everyone recognized that he was a great entertainer and an enormous talent, but, you know: Stay out of the casino.“
WELL, NO, IT’S NOT LIKE SAMMY DAVIS, JR., AT THE SANDS. I mean, God fucking damn it already. You may remember a couple years ago when Seth MacFarlane compared his desire for an Emmy to the HURTLES BARACK OBAMA HAD TO OVERCOME TO BE ELECTED AS THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT. No, motherfucker! Not that this statement even needs any kind of counter-argument because it’s just so clearly borderline-racist nonsense, but like, this guy makes 33 million dollars a year. There’s a story in the very same New Yorker piece in which he makes 100 people wait for three hours to do a table read only to have the table read canceled because he’s at home THINKING ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE TIME-SPACE CONTINUUM. (There’s also an incredible story about him secretly having a woman wait in the bathroom at work for him with a spray-tan machine during meetings, which I personally appreciated because it was exactly the PROOF I was looking for.) My point is, in absolutely no way, just in general but ESPECIALLY in the specific, is being the head of a multi-billion dollar entertainment empire the same as a talented black entertainer struggling under institutionalized bigotry. NO NO NO NOT THE SAME NOT THE SAME STOP SAYING THINGS LIKE THIS.
Look, Seth MacFarlane is very successful. “The highest-paid writer-producer in television history.” That’s incredible! And he’s also clearly very talented. You do not have three hugely popular primetime network sitcoms (animated or not) running at the same time without having a certain knack (and a pocketful of anti-Semitic Down syndrom rape jokes). But if he really wants to earn people’s respect then maybe he should STOP COMPARING THE TIMESHARE HE JUST BOUGHT IN A PRIVATE JET TO THE TRAIL OF FUCKING TEARS. Good grief, Charlie Brown.