An Open Letter to Matt Groening

Written by PTC | Published August 7, 2014

Dear Matt (with a copy to Seth MacFarlane), simpsons1920 There is nothing funny about rape. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes. The damage, both physical and emotional, is incalculable. Too many have suffered and too few of us have been spared the impact of these horrific crimes among our friends, family and people we love. So why is rape a punch line to you? In the upcoming crossover episode of The Simpsons and Family Guy, there is a cruel, callous “joke” about the rape of a character’s sister. There may be other references to sexual assault that the public simply hasn’t been made aware of yet, but we do know about this one. In fact, it’s already been widely disseminated on YouTube. Both The Simpsons and Family Guy are animated programs with a natural appeal, particularly to children. Both programs enjoy a large viewership of children, despite the edgy and often irreverent material. Moreover, every single episode of both programs has been rated by the FOX broadcast network as appropriate for children. Matt, I have been a fan of your work as far back as the mid-1980s when your strip appeared in the LA Weekly. You are powerfully witty without resorting to the use of rape as a punch-line. Seth has, unfortunately, used rape, molestation, pedophilia and other heinous crimes against children as humor, and he is now doing it routinely. You’re better than that. I respectfully and humbly urge you not to allow “Springfield” to be a place where we are asked to laugh at humanity’s most heinous and disgusting crimes against children. Please don’t allow your powerful platform to be used to desensitize your fans as to the horror of sexual exploitation. Don’t our daughters, our children and grandchildren, and our families deserve better? There is nothing funny about rape. Sincerely and personally, Tim Winter cc: Seth MacFarlane

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