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The W - Movies & TV - Carol Burnett sues "The Family Guy"
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Lap cheong

Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 69 days
Last activity: 57 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.39
Carol Burnett has sued Fox over a cleaning character used in "The Family Guy":

You would think that a) a comedienne would have a better sense of humor about such things than this and b) that someone who used to have her own show which did spoofs of other TV shows and movies would know that she doesn't have a case here. But you would be wrong.

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Six Degrees of Me

Since: 21.2.02

Since last post: 587 days
Last activity: 52 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.08
There is nothing wrong with Burnett's sense of humor. The point is 1) "I'm trademarked" and 2) this ain't original or funny

The clowns hide behind parody. Professionals claim satire. There is a difference but it's not like the lawyers care


(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 17.3.07 1356)

Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high

Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 23 hours
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.58
There is a difference between parody and satire, but this was clearly parody. While both satire and parody involve ridiculing the subject matter, satire is generally for the purpose of social or political criticism, while the intent of parody is purely humor. Furthermore, parody is necessarily mimetic in content, while satire is not. I can see why someone would consider satire more sophisticated than parody (in fact, I'd probably agree with that assessment), but the Family Guy bit was totally parody, not satire.

(edited by Tenken347 on 17.3.07 1241)
Cherries > Peaches

Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 53 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.14
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    There is nothing wrong with Burnett's sense of humor. The point is 1) "I'm trademarked" and 2) this ain't original or funny
And, I would guess: 3) it's linked to a porn shop. She's always resolutely maintained a squeaky-clean image -- might not have been an issue if the gag had been in a different context.
Matt Tracker

Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 27 days
Last activity: 35 min.
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.25
She's had a previously successful lawsuit over her image. She sued the Enquirer and won in what I believe was the first successful suit on that scale against a national tabloid.

I'm surprised more people haven't sued over the more direct insults leveled by the show. The producers could argue they didn't claim they created the character. In fact, its use relies on public awareness of the character. But what they did, it sounds like, referred to the character more than the comedienne. And her suit seems to play it both ways; she claims they used the character but defamed the actress.

"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker

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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 399 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
It goes without saying it wasn't funny - it was something on "Family Guy" in the last two years, after all - but parody is protected speech. It's why Mad Magazine isn't in court month after month.
Cherries > Peaches

Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 53 days
Last activity: 17 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.14
Given, I don't have the episode available in front of me for review.

My recollection of the show was a lovely homage to something from Seth's childhood. A totally respectful homage ... other than that tricky context within which it was presented.

Seth does a huge amount of that kind of thing -- &, unless otherwise skewed, I tend to think of them in a fond & caring way. I sat with my mouth gaping open for the entirety of the presentation of "Shipoopi" (, including correct details of choreagrophy!!

On the other hand, I can totally see where somebody very sensitive about "their personna's image" might have ben less than flattered. Espcially if it's someone who isn't familiar with Todd's total body of work, or who is very sensitive to how his work might be excerpted out of contet. Should one consider any extra implications of swabbing up ... a porn shop? Kinda tricky!

Earlier tonight I believe they aired a "Family Guy" which ended with a total homage to "All in the Family" -- the whole "Those Were the Days" deal, kinda inverse of the opening, including a zoom-out of the neighbourhood ... Not a lot of surrounding context. so not much that Normal Lear might take offence to.

Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 432 days
Last activity: 432 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.30
That the 20th Century Fox spokesman actually had the audacity to put Family Guy and Carol Burnett in the same league is reason enough to keep him off the stand if this thing goes to trial.

I'm sure it was because it was a porn shop. It's not about having a sense of humour. I saw Betty White on television talking about how much trouble they used to get in for those double entendres, and how today they're "just single entendres." No one of that generation probably has a sense of humour that includes what the people behind Family Guy consider appropriate yuk fodder. Let's face it, in their day you had to work a little harder, and be a little smarter, to get in your shots. Family Guy is a great example of how successful you can be today saying what the fuck comes into your head, but Seth McFarlane couldn't have made it even as little ten years earlier than he did.

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