Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane appears on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, where he is asked about his “beef” with The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. The entire interview will air tonight at 9 pm ET, but we have a meaty preview clip for you below.
MacFarlane, obviously taken aback that Morgan knew anything about the alleged “beef,” gave some carefully handled responses. In fact, he even admitted, “My publicist has forbidden me to talk about that since it happened,” before adding, “It was an angry call.”
The incident dates back to the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike. At the time, most scripted shows shut down programming, Family Guy included, but some stayed on the air, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart being one. Upon return, MacFarlane, a strong supporter of the strike, on Family Guy, made a joke referencing The Daily Show’s return to air before the strike’s end, to which Stewart apparently took offense.
MacFarlane says his main point to Stewart, during the hour-long phone call, was, “It is incumbent upon people in a certain position to stand up for people who haven’t made it yet.” To which allegedly Stewart replied, “Who the hell made you the moral arbiter of Hollywood?” Morgan, who was no doubt getting his kicks from playing the instigator, and perhaps voicing some personal disdain for Stewart, said, “There’s a certain irony in Jon Stewart ringing you up haranguing you for mocking him.” MacFarlane responded, “If I say ‘yes,’ he’s going to crucify me on his show for a year.” Then he said this: “I’ll give a very measured response to this. I do think he was wrong not to shut his show down; I disagree with his actions there. The gag we did on Family Guy was coming from the right place, but was so over the line in its ruthlessness that it probably could have been more measured in its execution. How about that?”
To which Morgan says, “That’s a bit of a cop out, imagine how he would have handled it had you called him?” MacFarlane response? “He probably would’ve broadcast it.”
“It’s hard because he’s an important voice for the rational side of politics, which is why I was frustrated,” MacFarlane goes on to say. “It’s like, you’re the good guy who should be standing out there with us, that was my beef.”
So where do you stand on the matter? Was Jon Stewart right to bring his show back before the strike ended? Did Seth MacFarlane do anything wrong in criticizing him? And is Piers Morgan just instigating trouble? Let us know in the comments section.