Monday 18 December 2017

Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episode under fire for 'troubling' rape joke

Simpsons Guy - Simpsons and Family Guy mash-up trailer released
Family Guy is set for a meeting with The Simpsons

Christopher Hooton

It has yet to even air, but the Simpsons – Family Guy crossover has already got some up in arms over a joke the punchline of which is "your sister's being raped".

The joke featured in the trailer which debuted at Comic Con in July, but is getting talked about now as it seems Fox won't be editing it out when the hour-long special airs in the US on Sunday.

It starts with a familiar Simpsons gag set-up:

"Moe's Tavern, Moe speaking."

"Uh yeah, I'm looking for a friend, last name Ki-Bum, first name Lee?

"Hang on I'll check, hey guys do I got a Lee Ki-Bum, do I got a Lee Ki-Bum?"

But then Stewie tries his hand at the prank:

"Hello Moe, your sister’s being raped."

This is far from the most controversial joke Family Guy has aired, but it seems to be causing outrage by proximity to the usually fairly moral Simpsons.

Tim Winter of the Parents Television Council (yes that's a real thing) told AP: "I was blown out of my shoes when I saw the scene with the rape joke in it, It really troubled me."

He said he had written to creators Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane asking that the joke be removed, but hadn't received a response from either them nor Fox.

He added that he found it particularly offensive in the context of stories about sexual assaults on college campuses and the recent abusive treatment of women by NFL players, claiming that when you make rape a punch line "it becomes less outrageous in real life."

If appraisals of the trailer are anything to go by, the 'Simpsons Guy' episode is set to come in for more criticism when it airs Sunday night.

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