This week’s episode of Family Guy included an election-connected joke about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Does that mean the series bravely attacked the unethical role Mark Zuckerberg played in influencing the 2020 election through private funding of election offices? Of course not. Instead, the show pushed ridiculous 5-year-old claims that Facebook data mining rigged the 2016 election for Donald Trump.
In the episode, “Peterschmidt Manor,” on Sunday November 14, Lois (Alex Borstein) flashes back to a childhood conversation with her nanny, Meredith. The nanny gives a unique rendition of the story “The Ugly Duckling,” with Zuckerberg in the role of the duckling.
Meredith: Have you ever hear the story of the Ugly Duckling?
Meredith: Well, there once was a young duckling who had a hard time fitting in, just like you. And one day, that duckling went off to college and created a website to rate women. Then he made $100 billion and mined user data to rig an election.
If the writers had relied on recent controversies surrounding the use of “Zuckerbucks” in the 2020 election, the bit would not seem so dated and pathetic. But Family Guy writers will never touch such issues around the recent election. Instead, Hollywood condemns “crazy conspiracy theories” from 2020 while STILL spouting them about 2016.
In the past, Family Guy has sometimes worked when it has aimed its zingers at both left and right. But this new fall season since the election of Joe Biden has been lame, making tired jokes about Sean Hannity. In a year when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have routinely made humiliating gaffes, creator Seth MacFarlane has chosen to stick with the establishment and obsess over Trump instead of mining the comedic goldmine possible in satirizing the current embarrassing presidential administration.