An Open Farewell Letter to the Makers of Family Guy

Dear Seth & Staff,

I will never forget when I was watching the Super Bowl in college and saw a commercial for the premiere of your new show Family Guy following the game. The comedy was quick, brilliant and downright hilarious. Watching that first episode, I considered your cutaways revolutionary as well as the references to pop culture. I felt like we grew up watching the same shows and I had a new comedy fixture in my life.

Season after season, I would buy the old DVDs and make episode-viewing appointments with myself. I rejoiced when Fox brought the show back after they cancelled it. You pushed the boundaries like daring, provocative comedy should.

Family Guy
Image by Andrew/Flickr.com

As the seasons passed, I understood that the show had to adapt to the times and filter in new references and other topics that may have been in the social consciousness. And this was where I started to wince.

This is where I say: I have been a happy Scientologist for 13 years (Jewish as well) and understand that religion can be mentioned in comedy. You’ve done episodes with Peter Griffin singing an ode to a Jewish accountant, encouraging his son to convert to Judaism and mentioning other Jewish stereotypes. Of course, Jesus Christ has shown up in a variety of capacities in episodes that almost earned the show Emmy nominations. I could see how those topics could be touchy for some, but at least the depictions were based on an actual belief from, or truth about, each faith.

Your recent mentions of Scientology make Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” look like the World Book Encyclopedia.

I didn’t have a particular problem with you bringing up Scientology—we are the fastest growing religion which should earn the extra eyeballs—but when you attack our belief system by incorporating a complete 110% absence of accuracy and reality, while having your show’s characters stupidly avoid saying “Scientology” outright, that is when I have to point you and your staff in another direction.

Your recent mentions of Scientology make Comedy Central’s Drunk History look like the World Book Encyclopedia.

So here are some fun facts and pointers:

  • Don’t show a picture of the outside of one of our buildings on your show when you have no idea what’s inside. Instead of talking in onomatopoeia about us, I suggest you watch Scientology Network’s “Destination: Scientology” Los Angeles episode so you know what you’re actually airing on your show.
  • Our mission is to uplift society, curb drug addiction and end mental health abuses. Honest aims that are in line with the political ideals you like to tweet about.
  • I recommend you wipe out all misinformation you have about our religion and start following some of our humanitarian programs: @YFHumanRights, @WayToHappiness and even this @StandLeague blog.
  • You have an amazing primetime platform that influences multiple generations. Continue being creative and pushing the envelope, but leave false depictions of our—or any other—religion out of your scripts and off your storyboards.

Unfortunately, I am going to have to leave your show off my watchlist going forward. I would like to go back someday, but since you’ve been stooping to levels I thought were only reserved for lazy writers and their hack punchlines, I’m afraid I’ll just have to cherish the first 16 seasons and consider your show in the past tense.

Thanks for the laughs, but not for the bigotry.

Best,

Evan Wecksell

Author

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