As you are aware The Simpsons and Family Guy are airing a much anticipated crossover episode this Sunday. While the trailer for the episode was celebrated with much fanfare across the web, a recent clip of the show has angered some people. That’s because in it, Bart Simpson made his legendary prank call to Moe’s tavern asking Moe “Is Lee Keybum there?” Then Stewie Griffin tried his hand at the prank… making a rape joke. Watch the clip.
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With the recent string of domestic violence in the NFL, this couldn’t be worse timing. Folks at the Parents Television Council were pretty upset over the scene saying it was very troubling.
The argument could be made that the joke itself isn’t really about rape; rather the line is used to demonstrate that the character of Stewie is a psychopath who doesn’t understand human behavior and thus would say something so outrageous. Stewie just blurts out the most insane thing he can think of, thinking that it’s funny, and this is juxtaposed to the innocent, childlike Bart Simpson prank. Stewie could have also said, “Hey, Moe there is AIDS in your sandwich!”
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They pointed out a similar contrast on South Park in the classic episode “Cartoon Wars Part II” where Eric Cartman goes through a list of his past debaucheries in an attempt to one-up the shenanigans of the more family friendly Bart Simpson. Cartman asks him, “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” – Bart responds, “I stole the head off a statue once.” Cartman counters, “Gee that’s pretty hardcore, that’s like this one time I didn’t like a kid so I ground his parents up into chili and fed it to him.”
Contrast the joke with that department store in The Philippines that had to apologize for selling this T-Shirt. Unlike the Simpsons/Family Guy joke, this is a joke specifically about rape, and it’s also not funny.
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What do you guys think? Did The Simpons– Family Guy bit go to far?
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney