Microsoft is shocked to find racy content in 'Family Guy' special
Less than two weeks after announcing that it would be the sole sponsor of Fox's November 8 "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," Microsoft has pulled out.
According to Variety's Mike Schneider, who broke the story, everything was humming along just fine until the folks at Microsoft went to the taping of the special last week and were shocked, shocked to find racy humor and tasteless jokes about deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.
All this is par for the course for "Family Guy," a show which knows no taboos. Even the assassination of a president is fair game for "Family Guy" (anyone remember the JFK Pez dispenser joke?). "Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show" is a throwback to the old variety specials of TV's past. It features MacFarlane, who is the creator and a voice on the show, and Alex Borstein, who is also a voice on the show. In between skits and bits would be lots of plugs for Windows 7.
We found it a little hard to believe that Microsoft wasn't aware of what it was getting into when it agreed to sponsor the special. So we called to check if that was really possible. We got e-mailed this canned statement in response:
We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of “Family Guy,” but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand. We continue to have a good partnership with FOX, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas. We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent.
--Attributed to Microsoft Spokesperson
We followed up with an e-mail question about whether the company really had no idea just how raunchy the content gets on "Family Guy" and got this response:
I am not in the office on 10/26. Try my mobile phone at 425-XXX-XXXX if you need to reach me urgently.
Fear not, "Family Guy" fans. The special is still a go and Fox hopes to line up some new sponsors who actually know what they're getting into with MacFarlane.
What's really scary about all this is we're pretty sure we didn't leave our e-mail with Microsoft when we called seeking comment.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Seth MacFarlane. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images