Seth MacFarlane Calls Spliced Boston Marathon Family Guy Video Abhorrent

In what may have been an attempt to be funny or clever, or perhaps just another internet hoax, a YouTube user spliced together pieces of an episode of Family Guy to make it look like the New England-set animated comedy series predicted the Boston Marathon bombing. Series creator Seth MacFarlane addressed the video, calling it abhorrent and sending his thoughts to the victims of the recent bombing, which he calls a "crime and a tragedy."

I'm not posting the video here because I'd rather not contribute to its view count, however the 14-second clip shows Peter being interviewed on the news and asked how he managed to win the Boston Marathon. The scene then cuts to Peter at the bar with his friends, making a cell phone call twice, which prompts the sound of two explosions and people screaming.

The Toronto Sun says the footage from the show comes from the recently aired episode, titled "The Turban Cowboy," in which there's a plot involving terrorists threatening to blow up the Quahog bridge. Peter accidentally detonates two of the bridges when using his cell phone. There's also apparently a segment that involves Peter winning the Boston Marathon by driving over runners with his car, but it sounds like that bit was unrelated to the bridge story - and may actually be from a separate episode - or perhaps, one of the many random asides that Family Guy often features. The fan-made video on YouTube makes it seem like the two scenes are connected and that Peter won the Boston marathon by setting off bombs. That's my interpretation anyway. Regardless of the intent of the video, it's gotten the attention of MacFarlane, who expressed disapproval, tweeting:

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Of course, by addressing it, he's probably brought even more attention to it. But then again, there's a good chance it was already making the rounds anyway. This is the second time Family Guy has sparked controversy related to a tragedy in recent history. Last December, Fox pulled a planned episode of the animated comedy series due to content that may have been deemed insensitive in the wake of the then-recent Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings. But that was a case of Fox aiming to be sensitive to their viewers after such a horrific ordeal. In this case, it's a fan who was either trying to make a joke or else, start a hoax too soon after a tragedy that took the lives of three people and injured more than a hundred more.

Since this latest controversy, FOX has reportedly pulled "The Turban Cowboy" from streaming online and has no plans to air it again in the future.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.