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Press Release

November 19, 2009


PTC Asks Microsoft to Stop Sponsoring All Seth MacFarlane Programming


BELLEVUE, Wash. (November 19, 2009) – At the annual meeting of Microsoft shareholders, the Parents Television Council® called on the company to discontinue advertising on all Seth MacFarlane programming.  PTC praised Microsoft for pulling its sponsorship of a Fox special featuring MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” and source of some the most offensive content on the broadcast airwaves, but cited concerns over Microsoft’s ongoing sponsorship of offensive “Family Guy” programs.  The following are excerpts from the statement PTC’s National Grassroots Director, Gavin McKiernan, delivered at the meeting:


“I am here today to congratulate you and your team for rejecting negative programming that is detrimental to young viewers.  The November 8th Fox program ‘Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show’ starred ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane and included ‘humor’ about the Holocaust, incest and feminine hygiene.  By cancelling your sponsorship of this special, Microsoft demonstrated to Hollywood that advertisers still have a choice in what they underwrite and Microsoft has media guidelines which it will adhere to. 


“Mr. Chairman, while the news of Microsoft asserting itself in the media marketplace is exciting to our 1.3 million members, we’re hopeful that Microsoft will build on this positive momentum and consider ending its advertising in all Seth MacFarlane productions.


“Mr. MacFarlane’s ‘Family Guy’ has consistently presented excessively violent, graphically sexual and profane material.  The lead in and lead out of the Seth MacFarlane special were both ‘Family Guy’ episodes supported by Windows 7. 


“In addition to explicit sexual humor and profanity, ‘Family Guy’ promotes disrespect and violence toward women.  In a typical episode from March 15th of this year, the Stewie character made comments such as, ‘I’m going to slit your throat in your sleep,’ as well as, ‘I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to murder a woman and get away with it.’  A fist fight breaks out and doesn’t end until innocent bystander Lois, Stewie’s mother, is socked in the face.  Microsoft also sponsored this episode.


“The PTC’s recent study, Women in Peril, found a 120% increase in the instances of violence against women and girls in prime-time broadcast television from 2004 to 2009.  ‘Family Guy’ was a major contributor to this trend.  ‘Family Guy’ seems to treat the abuse and even murder of women as a joke; and because it is a cartoon, airing on Sunday evening, it is seen by millions of children every week.


“Mr. Chairman, by not sponsoring the Seth MacFarlane special, Microsoft demonstrated tremendous courage and leadership. The nation’s parents and children are grateful.  Please, let us meet and discuss how we can work together to promote greater corporate responsibility, particularly in advertising.”


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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