Seth MacFarlane Says 'Family Guy' Kevin Spacey Joke Had To Be Explained To Him

A 2005 episode of irreverent animated comedy Family Guy contained a Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct joke — long before the now-disgraced actor faced several sexual assault allegations in 2017.

"I don't remember who pitched the joke," series creator Seth MacFarlane said at a panel during the Television Critics Association press tour (via The Wrap).

"I remember when it was pitched… that was a rumor that I had actually not heard and other people in the writer's room had. And it had to be sort of explained to me that there was this rumor that was going around."

"I was there and I too do not remember who pitched it, which means I did not pitch it," said showrunner Alec Sulkin.

"That was something where he was coming out of this story where I think [Spacey] had sort of beaten up in a London Park, and he claimed he had been walking his dog late at night and had fell. And I think that raised a lot of eyebrows."

Spacey claimed in 2004 he was attacked in a London park at 4 a.m. before dropping the complaint. According to the Academy Award-winning actor, Spacey was conned out of his cellphone by a youth and sustained a minor head injury chasing after the robber.

He later clarified his comments, saying he tripped over his dog.

"It was late in the morning and I was walking my dog, it was about 4 a.m., and I tripped up over my dog, and I ended up falling on to the street and hitting myself in the head," Spacey said.

Some have since claimed a sexual connotation to the story, alleging Spacey was cruising for a sexual encounter, leading to his physical assault.

The episode in question saw Griffin family baby Stewie make a bet with family dog Brian, leading to the maniacal baby genius to run naked through a crowded store, yelling, "Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement! Help me!"

"It's one of the things in terms of Standards where if they heard the rumors as we have, then they'll allow it," Sulkin explained.

"That's one standard — if there's some rumor out there that's been public," fellow showrunner Rich Appel said. "The other one is if it seems so outrageous that no one could possibly believe [it] — some of those have passed too."

A December episode of Family Guy took a jab at Spacey, who publicly came out as gay after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexual misconduct during an encounter in the 1980s.


Spacey has since been fired from Netflix's House of Cards and was similarly ousted from Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World, where he was replaced under the wire by Christopher Plummer.

Family Guy is now airing its 16th season on Fox.