Fox’s Family Guy Engages in Despicable Attack on Terri Schiavo, Her Family

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fox’s Family Guy Engages in Despicable Attack on Terri Schiavo, Her Family

by Colleen Raezler
March 23, 2010 Note: Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute. This article originally appeared in NewsBusters, the blog of the Media Research Center.

Seth MacFarlane marked the five-year-anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s court-ordered death by staging a preschool musical about it in his crass FOX cartoon, "Family Guy."

MacFarlane denied Schiavo human dignity in the March 21 episode by referring to her in lyrics sung by cartoon preschoolers as "the most expensive plant you’ll ever see" and a "vegetable," and noted "her mashed potato brains."

The child who played the role of Schiavo’s husband, Michael, ultimately concluded, "There’s only one solution, it’s in the Constitution, we’ve got to pull the plug."

Schiavo died on March 31, 2005, after her parents fought numerous legal battles, appealing to the United States Congress and Supreme Court, to keep her alive, against the wishes of her husband.

A chorus representing pro-life protesters sang in the show, "Terri Schaivo is kind of alive-oh. What a lively little bugger … Terri Schiavo is kind of alive-oh, the most expensive plant you’ll ever see." A "doctor" sang, "Maybe we should just unplug her."

Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo, spoke to pro-life activist Jill Stanek about MacFarlane’s treatment of his sister’s death.

"This just validates what our family has been saying from the beginning: There is a deep rooted prejudice against people with these types of brain injuries," he stated. "And it’s why killing these people is being accepted more and more every day … by our culture and our nation."

Schindler warned pro-life activists at last year’s March for Life about the hatred they should expect to receive from the "secular media." He also detailed some of the horrors he witnessed as his sister slowly died

"My sister Terri Schiavo died a cruel and barbaric death that no family should ever have to witness. Let me tell you, her two-week dehydration death was horrifying," he told activists. "Watching blood pool in her eyes as she was deliberately killed by court order, my family decided her death would not be in vain."

Unfortunately for Schindler and the rest of Schiavo’s friends and family, MacFarlane decided her death could be played for laughs.

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