Knowing that they really had no shot at winning anyway, the producers of Family Guy recently sent out a unique mailer in their campaign to win an Outstanding Comedy Series endorsement from the Emmys. Their ploy? “Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let us into your little club.” And, as you may have guessed, it’s not exactly going over well.
And on the inside of the mailer, it reads: “It’s a secret ballot. You can still tell people you voted for Modern Family.”
The insinuation of the long-running stereotype—that an affluent Jewish population in a wealthy section of Los Angeles controls the entertainment industry—has offended many of the voters who received the mailer. Which was, probably, the point; however, it’s not exactly provoking a lot of laughter.
So far, the general response to the mailer has been one of mild offense and annoyance. One unnamed Brentwood TV producer said “Wow, if Family Guy was that funny on a regular basis, it might get nominated”; elsewhere, a produced from the nearby Pacific Palisades noted “It’s so heavy-handed…it’s light on funny.”
Perhaps the most measured, intelligent response so far comes from a Jewish producer who does live in Brentwood:
“While I think Family Guy is a genuinely funny show, we all — including this ‘Brentwood Jew’ — need to think twice about this kind of humor. Stereotyping any particular ethnic group is just not cool and can lead others (with the wrong intentions) to feel a certain license to take shots. Surely Seth [MacFarlane] has better stuff than this.”
The ad has been rejected by several outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Family Guy has previously won five Emmys, but none in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, for which it was only nominated once, in 2009.
What do you think of the mailer?