Sunday, 14 May 2017

Family Guy Trolls Kellyanne Conway With Emmy Ad — But Don't Get Too Offended

 Family Guy's ad submission to the 2017 Emmy Awards is stirring unnecessary controversy. The mailer features Peter Griffin as Kellyanne Conway dressed in her infamous inauguration outfit. The caption reads: "Alternative Fact: We Are The Smartest Comedy On Television."
 Family Guy's Emmy mailers are almost always controversial. In 2015, the promotion featured Peter as Donald Trump. The caption read: "As long as we’re voting for dumb loudmouths, can I get an Emmy?"
In 2012, the mailer has Peter saying: "Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let us into your little club."
In 2009, the comedy mocked leftist Hollywood sensibilities by having Peter dressed as the title character from the film Precious. The caption read: "Vote For Us Or You’re Racist."
 Not unexpectedly, critics and supporters flooded social media:




Multiple things can be true at once:
Family Guy is a left-leaning show created by Seth MacFarlane, a vocal progressive. While the writers of the show will at times attack progressive ideology — as they did with their Emmy ad aimed at Precious — their primary target will always be conservatives, or anything not progressive.
Not every attack on a woman's appearance or choice of clothing is sexist. Sexism is not only determined by behavior, but by the intent — conscious or subconscious — lurking behind behavior. People can indeed be unintentionally sexist, but to tag someone with that label based on such little evidence is risky.
If the writers who came up with the Emmy mailer are targeting Conway because they see her as "lesser" due to her sex, that is sexism. If they believe — consciously or subconsciously — that she would be an easier target because she's a woman, that is sexist. However, if they are simply mocking her as they would mock any other individual, that's not sexist. One may consider it rude, offensive, (insert objection here), but it cannot be determined that the mailer is sexist just because it mocked a woman.
Would Family Guy make fun of Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in such a fashion? Unlikely — but that's not remotely unexpected. It's a double standard that Republicans have dealt with for years, and will continue to deal with.
The complaint that Trump is fair game, but Conway is not is, in a word, insane. She's a White House surrogate, and frequently appears on TV and radio defending the Trump administration. She's fair game.
All of the above are true statements, and it's perfectly legitimate to point out the hypocrisy of Hollywood progressives. However, one must be careful to criticize only what is fit to be criticized. It is paramount that one carefully analyzes potential offenses before leaping to condemn them, otherwise, it's simply a waste of energy that makes conservatives and Trump supporters appear foolish and reactionary.

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