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The Family Guy joke that suggests Hollywood already knew about Kevin Spacey

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Kayleigh Dray
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Many were shocked when, just days ago, Kevin Spacey was accused of making sexual advances toward a 14-year-old boy. Now, a damning Family Guy joke has resurfaced online, which strongly suggests that Spacey’s alleged misconduct was known in the film and TV industry.

The clip – taken from a 2005 episode of the cartoon – shows a nude Stewie (the show’s one-year-old child prodigy character) running through a clothing store, screaming about being trapped in Spacey’s basement.

Family Guy with the Kevin Spacey reference 12 years ago,” wrote Josh Jordan, who brought attention to the footage on social media. “Creepy.” 

It is not the first time that Seth MacFarlane – the creator of the animated series – has been linked to an in-joke about a Hollywood peer’s alleged sexual misconduct.

At the 2013 Oscars, he read out the names of the women who would be in competition for Best Supporting Actress and applauded them for making it that far.

“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein,” he quipped, to titters from the audience. The clip went viral this year as the list of allegations against Weinstein was made public knowledge.

While, at time of writing, MacFarlane had yet to respond to the questions that have been raised by the Family Guy reference, the actor-writer has since explained his Weinstein joke in a passionate post.

In the tweet, MacFarlane revealed the full context behind the remark, describing it as a “hard swing” that “came from a place of loathing and anger” after one of his friends said she’d experienced “attempted advances” from Weinstein.

The friend mentioned, Jessica Barth, was one of the women to come forward with allegations against Weinstein in The New Yorker story published 10 October, which followed reports in The New York Times.

According to Barth, the disgraced executive allegedly invited her to his hotel room, where, The New Yorker claims, he was, “alternat[ing] between offering to cast her in a film and demanding a naked massage in bed.

“When she moved toward the door to leave, Weinstein lashed out, saying that she needed to lose weight ‘to compete with Mila Kunis,’ and then, apparently in an effort to mollify her, promising a meeting with one of his female executives.”

Spacey has issued a public statement after Anthony Rapp, now 46, accused the House of Cards star of trying to seduce him while attending a party in 1986.

“I honestly do not remember the encounter,” said Spacey in a tweet. “It would have been 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”

Spacey’s statement, which he also used to come out as gay, has been widely criticised for linking sexuality with alleged child abuse. And, shortly after it appeared on social media, Rapp reiterated his comments in a Twitter thread.

Explaining that the ongoing sexual harassment scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein had encouraged him to speak publicly, he said: “I came forward with my story, standing on the shoulders of the many courageous women and men who have been speaking out to shine a light and hopefully make a difference, as they have done for me.”

Images: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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