New details of content provide insight as to why Fox decided to pull a controversial ‘Family Guy’ episode about abortion last summer, before it saw the light of day.
“There was originally going to be a song about the [abortion] procedure, much like we have in Dr. Hartman’s [the Griffin family doctor] office,” co-executive producer and episode writer Danny Smith told Fancast at last Tuesday’s PaleyFest 2010 event for ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane. “But there is a film strip that is shown out in front of a family planning clinic that sort of exaggerates the gruesomeness of what an abortion is.”
Fox announced last summer it would not air the episode, which MacFarlane has said would eventually be released on DVD.
The ‘Family Guy’ cast did a live reading of the episode last August for Emmy voters, with a plot involving Lois (Alex Borstein) acting as a surrogate for an old friend, but considering an abortion when the friend and her husband are killed in a car crash. One of the jokes from the script was Peter (MacFarlane) saying, “If God wanted us to kill babies, he’d make them all Chinese girls.”
“As far as I know, it’s not going to air, and it sort of breaks my heart,” Smith said Tuesday. “I think between reading Carl Sagan and being raised as a Catholic, I felt that I spoke to it [in a way] that Seth was very happy with, that was very even-handed. So, ideally somewhere down the road, someone will get to see it.”
Smith explains, “As a writer, I wrote that episode, and I was very satisfied with it, and thought we were very even-handed and remarkably informed. It’s not as exploitative or as poor taste as people might think. Unfortunately, it’s a very real issue that many, many people have to deal with. I thought we treated it very fairly.”
He adds, “The word abortion is the lightning rod. The thing that doesn’t seem to be clear to people is that no one is a fan of abortion. What we were trying to do was explore the issue and how it affects so many people’s lives. It’s a very difficult issue.”