Seth MacFarlane Explains Origin of 'Family Guy' 2005 Joke That Called out Kevin Spacey

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane said he was unaware of the rumors about Kevin Spacey before the famous 2005 Stewie joke was pitched to him.

During Fox's panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, MacFarlane said he thinks the idea that Family Guy predicted the Hollywood power players who would be taken down years later is overstated.

"I think the myth that Family Guy is this Kreskin-like prognosticator of this kind of stuff is a little sensationalized," MacFarlane said, reports Indiewire. "I remember, when [the joke] was pitched, that rumor was a rumor that I actually had not heard, and other people in the writers' room had. And it had to be sort of explained to me, 'Oh, there's this rumor that's going around.'"

In a 2005 episode of Family Guy, Stewie was seen running around a mall naked, yelling "Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement! Help me!"

Executive producer Alec Sulkin also said he couldn't remember how the joke came about.

"I think that that was something where he was coming out of a story where I think he had sort of been kind of beaten up in a London park, and he claimed that he was walking his dog late at night and fell," Sulkin explained. "And I think that raised a lot of eyebrows and you know, it's one of those things, in terms of standards, where if they've heard the rumors as we have, then they'll allow it."

The story Sulkin referred to happened in 2004. At the time, Spacey reported an "attack" by a youth who conned him into giving up his cell phone while walking his dog. Spacey claimed he was hurt after he tripped over his dog while chasing the thief.

In 2004, Spacey was still the artistic director at London's Old Vic. After an investigation this fall, the Old Vic said it received 20 allegations of sexual assault against the actor.

MacFarlane also got attention for making a joke about Harvey Weinstein when he announced Oscar nominees in 2013.

In that case, MacFarlane said the joke was inspired by Jessica Barth, a friend who told him about Weinstein's sexual advances. "Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger," MacFarlane wrote in October.


Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images