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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Family Guy on Fox


Back in 2000, the Family Guy episode entitled, “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein” was shelved for fear that it was too anti-Semitic.  Apparently, now in 2009, nothing is too anti-Semitic, thanks to Family Guy’s relentless victimization of Jews and cheap skewering of Jewish culture.  The October 4th episode (9:30 p.m. ET), “Family Goy,” was the latest example of the show’s anti-Semitism.  When the Griffins learn that Lois is half Jewish, they proceed to encapsulate a litany of Jewish stereotypes.  In the process, the show manages to offend not only Judaism, but all religions, thus earning it the title of Worst TV Show of the Week


As is often the case on Family Guy, the episode began with a random incident that meandered for a while until it stumbled upon the central plot, but not before inundating the audience with labored non-sequiturs.  In this case, Peter falls in love with a cardboard cut-out of Kathy Ireland.  Meanwhile, Quagmire finally discovers Internet porn.  Eventually, the cardboard cutout of Kathy Ireland cheats on Peter (don’t ask) and he literally buries his love for her in the yard.  He happens to see his next door neighbor, Quagmire, step out of his front door.  Quagmire hasn’t left his home for days and Peter notices that his left arm has gotten enormously muscular (presumably through constant masturbation). 


With Kathy Ireland’s picture out of the picture, Peter reignites his desire for Lois.  As he fondles her breasts in the dark, he feels a lump.  In typical Family Guy fashion, the threat of breast cancer is considered hilarious.  Peter continues to seduce Lois, forcing her to scream, “Peter, stop that!  We’re not having sex.  I just told you I have a lump.”


He selfishly responds, “I have a lump too, and mine is easier to get rid of it.”


Lois visits a doctor who delves into her family history, ultimately leading to the discovery that Lois is part Jewish.  But it is Peter who goes overboard with his religious conversion.  He dons traditional garb, which includes the Star of David and a thicket of chest hair, and goes by his new Jewish name – which amount to nothing but a throat-clearing gargle.


The knocks on Judaisim are fairly innocuous until the ghost of Peter’s Catholic father inspires him to embrace Christianity by hating the Jews.   In a particularly sick parody, Peter recreates an infamous scene in Schindler’s List in which a sadistic SS officer, Amon Goeth, picks off Jewish prisoners with a rifle from his balcony.  In Family Guy, Peter shoots at the mailbox as Lois stands near it.  “What the hell?!” she screams, “Are you out of your [bleeped “f***ing”] mind?”  Mort the Jew (yes, that’s his name) approaches Lois as Peter fires a warning shot that whizzes above his head.  Mort explains to Lois that typically people say hi to him by firing their guns.

Mort’s appearance is notable because in the previous episode he was beaten to a bloody pulp by Disneyfied versions of the cast (a reference to Walt Disney’s purported anti-Semitism). 


Apparently, in Seth MacFarlane’s mind, the best way to fight anti-Semitism is with more anti-Semitism.  One must wonder what young, angry, disaffected bigots tuning into the show must think.  All they see is a nebbish stereotype getting his teeth knocked out of his skull and a blood-soaked Star of David tumbling to the floor.  In the intervening years since that first episode was banned, what message has MacFarlane re-enforced, particularly when this episode ended with Jesus Christ proclaiming that the world religions “are all complete crap?”  Has MacFarlane encouraged his audience to be more tolerant of Jews?  Or has he inured them to more extreme depictions of religious violence?  For clearly promoting the latter, Family Guy rightly deserves the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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