'Brentwood Jews': TV Producers Not Laughing at 'Family Guy' Emmy Mailer
A version of this story originally appeared in the Rambling Reporter column of the June 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
The producers of Family Guy, known for irreverent Emmy-consideration mailers to Academy of Television Arts & Sciences voters, have taken an even sharper-edged turn. Their latest depicts the show's father character Peter Griffin sneering: "Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let us into your little club."
When recipients flip open the mailer's card, which holds a DVD featuring four episodes of the series, Family Guy's droll talking baby, Stewie, wryly notes: "It's a secret ballot. You can still tell people you voted for Modern Family."
"Wow," responds one Brentwood TV producer, "if Family Guy was that funny on a regular basis, it might get nominated." Another producer, who lives nearby in Pacific Palisades, has her own review. "It's so heavy-handed," she says, "it's light on funny."
Yet another adds: "While I think Family Guy is a genuinely funny show, we all -- including this 'Brentwood Jew' -- need to think twice about this kind of humor. Stereotyping any particular ethnic group is just not cool and can lead others (with the wrong intentions) to feel a certain license to take shots. Surely Seth [MacFarlane] has better stuff than this."
Several outlets, including THR, rejected the ad. While the show has picked up five Emmys, it has never won for outstanding comedy series and received its only nomination in the category in 2009. MacFarlane has served as Family Guy's showrunner during its entire run.
The show's history of Emmy campaigning includes a critique of The Office in 2009. That year, Family Guy released a web short in which Stewie observes, "Indians and Hispanics don't live in Scranton!"