An episode of Family Guy has been blocked from airing in the United States, with the TV network claiming it was ‘too edgy’.
For 25 years, Seth MacFarlane’s animated sitcom has been a global hit because to its famous characters and scathing wit.
The programme has also gained a reputation for not shying away from contentious topics, comparable to South Park.
In 2010, a Family Guy episode named Partial Terms of Endearment was set to air, which focused on abortion.
While it aired on BBC Three in the United Kingdom, it was not permitted to be broadcast on its original network Fox in the US.
The story follows Lois when an old college buddy asks her to carry her kid as a surrogate.
She agrees to the proposal despite her husband Peter’s objections.
After becoming pregnant, Lois discovers that her biological parents have been murdered in an accident, forcing her to make a difficult decision: continue with the pregnancy and give birth to the baby or seek an abortion.
Peter tries to persuade Lois not to get an abortion after being swayed by anti-abortion demonstrators.
However, in the end, Lois decides to abort the pregnancy.
Given the dramatically differing opinions on abortion across the country, it’s hardly surprising that this episode of Family Guy sparked controversy in the United States.
In 2022, the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark judgement from 1973 that established a constitutional right to abortion.
After five decades, this right was invalidated two years ago, thereby eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States.
Planned Parenthood explained: ‘As a result, one in three women now live in states where abortion is not accessible. In the first few months after Roe was overturned, 18 states banned or severely restricted abortion. Today more states are working to pass bans.’
In an interview published in the New York Times in 2010 with Family Guy creator Seth about the episode, he was asked if it occurred to him ‘that maybe abortion isn’t a funny subject’.
‘It didn’t. It’s an issue that you read about in the papers all the time, like anything else. So that is fodder for political and social satire,’ he responded at the time.
‘There’s nothing about that issue that should be any different than doing an episode about gay marriage, or an episode about the oil spill.’
According to the newspaper, former Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly stated in response to the episode’s ban: ‘It’s an extremely fragile subject matter at an extremely fragile economic time.
‘Of all the issues, this is the one that seems to be the most of a hot button. Particularly at that moment in time, the economy was really struggling and there were a lot of very tough conversations going on with clients.’
During a Comic-Con press conference, Seth allegedly stated that Fox found the episode ‘too edgy’.
The episode was still available when purchasing the season’s DVD package.
Family Guy is available to stream on Disney Plus.