In this day and age there is a heightened sensitivity to offensive comedy, especially those jokes that revolve around sexual assault.
The FOX network is learning that first hand.
FOX is currently under fire from the advocacy group Parents Television Council, for a forthcoming rape joke that will air on their network on Sept 28 during The Simpson’s – Family Guy crossover.
The joke is classic shock comedy. As Stewie observes Bart pull one of his signature prank calls to Moe’s Tavern, he decides he wants to get in on the action. But whereas Bart calls asking Moe if there is anyone in the bar with the last name Keybum, first name Lee, Stewie calls him back simply saying, “Hello, Moe? Your sister’s being raped.”
Opinions have been mixed.
According to Detroit Free Press:
Tim Winter, president of the advocacy group Parents Television Council, said he’s a longtime fan of Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons,” and sought out the trailer when it was released.
“I was blown out of my shoes when I saw the scene with the rape joke in it,” Winter said. “It really troubled me.”
He said he found it particularly offensive in the context of stories about sexual assaults on college campuses and, most recently, talk about abusive treatment of women by some players in the National Football League. He said when rape is accepted as a punch line for a joke in entertainment, “it becomes less outrageous in real life.”
On the flip side of the coin, a spokeswoman for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAIN) took no real issue with it.
Katherine Hull Fliflet, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAIN), said she did not find the line offensive.
“I think the show is making it clear that rape is not funny by how they are positioning the joke,” Fliflet said. “It’s my hope that would be the viewers’ take-away.”
I tend to agree with Fliflet, but watch the entire segment below for yourself. Form your own opinion. Sound off in the comments.