You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Editorial

‘Family Guy’: No offense taken

Continue reading below

A real-life terrorist attack isn’t an appropriate source of humor. But some snippets of old movies and TV shows are bound to prompt cringe-inducing associations in the wake of an attack; still, viewers will understand the difference between a calculated insult and an unintended coincidence. So, while Fox executives showed commendable sensitivity in taking the unusual step of removing an old “Family Guy” episode that involved the Boston Marathon from the web, it was an unnecessary gesture.

Off-color jokes are the hallmark of the animated show, created by New England native Seth MacFarlane. In the episode, which aired last month, the main character wins the Marathon by running over other competitors in his car. In a separate sequence, he unknowingly makes friends with a terrorist.

Earlier this week, someone online produced an unauthorized remix of the episode, changing the sequence of events to suggest that “Family Guy” had predicted Monday’s bombing. That drew a deserved rebuke from MacFarlane. Later, though, Fox took down the real episode. The move probably spared some viewers an accidental jolt, but most would have understood that the episode predated Monday’s explosions.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.