The pending Disney/Fox deal has raised plenty of questions about the future of content creators, but “Family Guy” uber-producer Seth MacFarlane, who has an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, says he was “remarkably unfazed” by the news.
“This stuff happens all of the time,” he told reporters, after a table read of the animated comedy’s upcoming 300th episode at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. MacFarlane predicted that Disney will treat the studio like “Touchstone in the ’80s,” he said, with Fox and Disney each being their own brand. “I don’t think a whole lot is going to change.”
MacFarlane said that he did talk to Disney chief Bob Iger, who reached out to him. “I had a very good phone call with him,” he said. Ryan Murphy, another prominent producer in the 20th stable, told reporters earlier in the day that Iger had called him as well. “I said point blank the stuff I do is not Disney and I’m not interested in that and I’m concerned about that. ‘Am I going to have put Mickey Mouse in ‘American Horror Story?'” Murphy said. “[Iger] said no and the reason Disney is buying Fox is that they believed in the assets and the executives and the creators.”
MacFarlane and the show’s creative team were asked as well about their prescient joke about Kevin Spacey, which appeared in a 2005 episode, long before the allegations against the actor first surfaced. In the episode, Stewie ran naked through a mall yelling, “Help! I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement! Help me!”
MacFarlane said he couldn’t remember who pitched the joke, and admitted that when it was first pitched, it had to be explained to him because he hadn’t yet heard the rumor himself.
Showrunner Alec Sulkin said he, too, hadn’t pitched the joke, but recalled “this story where [Spacey] had been beaten up in a London park, and claimed he had been walking his dog late at night and fallen,” said Sulkin. “I think that raised a lot of eyebrows.”