Family Guy Fan Edit Depicts Boston Bombing
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The animated sitcom “Family Guy” is known for being irreverent, and has poked fun at virtually every type of person and historical event over its more than a decade on the air. Unfortunately, one recent episode’s content hit a little too close to a recent tragedy, and an edit of the episode circulating around the internet depicts the show’s characters participating in the recent bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The episode in question, titled “Turban Cowboy,” aired several weeks ago on the Fox Network. In one scene of the episode, main character Peter Griffin is shown drunkenly driving through the Boston Marathon route, driving over runners in an attempt to win the race.


An unrelated storyline in the same episode features Peter befriending a terrorist, who gives him a cellular telephone to use. When the phone is dialed, Peter unknowingly sets off nearby explosions.

This type of crude and violent humor is par for the course for “Family Guy,” and creator and star Seth McFarlane, who recently hosted the Academy Awards, has made his name on tasteless and irreverent humor. At the time they were aired, the two jokes/plot-points in the episode were isolated and easily dismissed, but in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, these moments are more likely to raise eyebrows.

One industrious fan, however, did more than simply raise his eyebrows. The fan, whose identity is currently unknown, used editing software to splice the two scenes together, making it appear as though the episode depicted a bombing at the Boston Marathon well in advance of the actual tragedy. The video was uploaded to YouTube shortly after the bombing occurred and quickly went viral, attracting millions of views and making headlines all around the country.

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Many news outlets and viewers were fooled by the video’s slick editing and thought it to be an authentic scene from an earlier episode of the show, calling into question knowledge possessed by the show’s creators. (Animated television programs are usually written and animated almost a year in advance of the time they are aired.

McFarlane released a statement regarding the popular video, in which he denounces the edit and expresses sympathy for the victims of the bombing, which left three dead and 176 wounded. “The edited Family Guy clip currently circulating is abhorrent,” he said. “The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.”

A Fox spokesman told Reuters that they have pulled the episode from Fox.com and Hulu.com, that the episode will not be rebroadcast, and that the network was working with YouTube to remove the edited clips.

Image Credit: AP Photo/Fox



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