"Family Guy" actor Warburton takes Sarah Palin's point
Not everyone who works on Fox animated sitcom "Family Guy" is standing in solidarity with its Valentine's Day episode's Sarah Palin gag.
Cast member Patrick Warburton told TV critics Wednesday he objected to the joke.
"I know it's satire but, personally, that [joke] bothered me too," Warburton said on a conference call to promote his other primetime show, CBS's sitcom "Rules of Engagement," which returns for a fourth season on March 1. (On "Family Guy" Warburton does the voice of the wheelchair-bound police officer, Joe.)
"I know that you have to be an equal-opportunity offender, but there are some things that I just don't think are funny."
The former Alaskan governor/GOP vice presidential contender and her daughter Bristol lashed out at the show and at "Fox Hollywood" network over the episode, in which a teenaged girl character with Down syndrome say her mother was a former governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin's youngest son has the same condition.
Series creator Seth MacFarlane shrugged it off with a statement about the show being an "equal-opportunity offender."
Even the actress who played the Down syndrome character, Andrea Fay Friedman, got into the act. The actress, who also has Down syndrome, sent an e-mail to The New York Times last week saying "I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor."
"I thought the line 'I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska' was very funny," the NYT reports Friedman said in her e-mail, adding, "I think the word is 'sarcasm'."
Warburton appears to be the first person involved with the show in any way, shape, or form who has publicly broken ranks.
"Look, I have fun. I like Seth. He's got a great comic mind and I think that the show can be fantastically funny. But I do believe that it can be hurtful at times," Warburton said in response to a question about the episode posed by WaPo Team TV's "Family Guy" bureau chief Emily Yahr.
The situation was bound to happen, given that "Family Guy," being a cartoon, is given a longer leash than any live-action comedy, Warburton speculated.
"A show like that ... is going to offend everybody at one point or another," the actor said.
"My mother actually believes my soul's in peril for being on the show," he added.
Note to Ms. Palin -- he was making a joke.
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