Leave it to Seth MacFarlane and the writers of Family Guy to keep things real AF, even when some in the mainstream media won’t.
This season of the popular animated series, as usual, has been no stranger to hot-button issues. On last night’s episode, they took on House of Cards’ Creeper-In-Chief Kevin Spacey for his attempt to deflect negative attention by coming out as a gay man in response to sexual harassment allegations.
As Indiewire reports, the joke plays out while Peter, Meg and Lois are watching the end of Usual Suspects, but instead of reacting to the fact that Spacey’s character was Keyser Söze all along, Peter goes, “Wait, he was gay the whole time?” echoing not only decades of media speculation about Spacey’s sexual orientation, but also the actor’s somewhat successful attempt to focus attention on his sexuality instead of his alleged behavior.
The satire highlights how unfair it was for Spacey to spin the narrative about his past behavior into a story about him “[choosing] to live now as a gay man.” This diversion tactic did not go unnoticed. GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released a statement, saying “Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault. This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
Family Guy definitely did not, and their joke is as much a commentary on Spacey attempt to steer the media coverage in his favor as it is of the media’s willingness to take the bait.