On Tuesday, Fox pulled a “Family Guy” episode from the Internet. The episode, called “Turban Cowboy,” originally aired March 17, and was removed after edited clips that seemed to imply the show “predicted” Monday’s Boston Marathon blasts were uploaded.
Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” as well as other Fox shows such as “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show” tweeted:
The edited Family Guy clip currently circulating is abhorrent. The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.
One version of the edited video melds two scenes from “Turban Cowboy,” and shows Peter Griffin, the protagonist of the show, telling Bob Costas how he won a marathon. Griffin, voiced by MacFarlane, said:
I’ll tell ya, Bob, I just got in my car and drove it. And when there was a guy in my way, I killed him.
Next, Peter and friends are shown at their bar of choice, the Drunken Clam. Peter dials his cell phone and an explosion occurs off-camera. When he re-dials, a second explosion occurs, followed by screams.
In the episode that was aired, Griffin told Costas that he won the marathon by finishing it with his car, with a cutaway to him plowing through the racers. The explosion scene — indeed in the episode — is part of the main plot of “Turban Cowboy.” Peter mistakenly befriends a group of terrorists intent on blowing up a bridge in the “Family Guy” town of Quahog, R.I.
Fox spokeswoman Gaude Paez said that Fox was working with YouTube to take down the edited clips.
Conspiracy theorist websites were quick to jump on the incident. Prison Planet posted a YouTube video, not showing the mash-up, but discussing it. As the blurb at Prison Planet’s YouTube video said,
The Family Guy/Boston Marathon Clip is NOT a Hoax: A scene depicting runners at the Boston Marathon being killed and another depicting two bombs being detonated are SEPARATE SCENES but they are in the SAME EPISODE.
The top comment — at the time of this writing — is:
nyer070: not to mention the maker of family guy (writer) should be executed for giving the many ideas of murder and tragedies to those idiots who are out there
Some commenters rejected the theories, with another saying:
rci30: You Clown!, The Family Guy team did a cartoon show. They haven’t made light of ANYTHING. You are an imbecile. Maybe YOU had something to do with making the events of this TV show a reality.
Rival conspiracy-theory website Infowars also ran a story on Tuesday titled, “‘Family Guy’ Episode Predicted Boston Marathon Attack.”
Earlier, episodes of “Family Guy” and “American Dad” were replaced by reruns and aired later, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Fox said it pulled the plug on the new episodes to avoid airing any potentially sensitive content during the obviously heartbreaking aftermath of the Newtown tragedy.