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Seth MacFarlane slammed Fox this weekend after Fox News host Tucker Carlson told viewers not to trust other news networks’ coverage during Friday night’s broadcast of his eponymous show. Now, the writer and producer is lending major financial support to NPR and its Los Angeles affiliate.
MacFarlane is donating $2 million to NPR and $500,000 to L.A.’s NPR membership station, KPCC, Southern California’s top news distributor for NPR content, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. MacFarlane’s donation will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the U.S.
On Saturday, MacFarlane — who is responsible for hit Fox series like Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland and his latest offering, the space dramedy Orville — tweeted that he is “embarrassed” to work for the company.
“In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News,” he wrote in response to Carlson’s comments about Fox News’ rivals.”This is fringe shit, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”
MacFarlane’s tweet inspired Judd Apatow to speak out against Fox, too. In a string of tweets posted Monday afternoon, the director urged Fox showrunners and talent to publicly condemn the network for Fox News and its reporting. Apatow particularly took issue with Fox News’ coverage of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has separated children from their parents at the southern U.S. border.
“I haven’t worked with Fox since 2002. That family promotes evil ideas and greed and corruption. We all choose who to work with. I understand why that is easier for some than others but many powerful people are powerful enough to speak up to their bosses at a moment like this,” Apatow wrote of Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox.
Apatow continued: “[AG Sessions] is a fucking kidnapper! The Murdochs support these policies! Where are the Fox stars and executives speaking up?! Imagine if it was your kids. Who has a movie, TV show, sporting event, news show at Fox? How can you remain silent when they promote these policies?”
In response to MacFarlane and Apatow, Modern Family co-showrunner Steve Levitan — who has an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV — tweeted, “Let me officially join @SethMacFarlane in saying I’m disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews. This bullshit is the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for.”
Paul Feig — director of 20th Century Fox comedies The Heat and Spy, who has a first-look film deal — shared Levitan’s tweet and replied, “I have made two films for 20th Century Fox and love the people in the movie and TV divisions. But I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”