In 2013, it just sounded like a very, very awkward joke at the Oscars.
As host Seth MacFarlane introduced the nominees for the best supporting actress award, he said: “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
The audience of actors and other Hollywood types responded with laughter and a smattering of groans, the Huffington Post reports. Then the awards show went on, with 40.3 million Americans watching at home, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But years later, after dozens of women have come forward with sexual assault and rape allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the clip might sound less like a joke and more like someone trying to sound the alarm: More than 80 women have now accused Weinstein of assault or harassment, according to Newsweek.
Weinstein isn’t the only Hollywood heavyweight that MacFarlane, the creator of the animated comedy show “Family Guy,” has taken on.
As more and more accusers have come forward in recent weeks alleging abuse at the hands of stars like Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner, “Family Guy” fans have noticed a pattern: MacFarlane has consistently used the show to expose, through comedy, allegations that Hollywood might have tried to sweep under the rug.
The latest example to resurface is a clip from the show in 2005, according to Deadline.
This “Family Guy” clip takes on Spacey, who has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances by a handful of men — including “Star Trek” actor Anthony Rapp, who says he was 14 when Spacey made advances, NBC reports.
“Help, I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement! Help me!” yells Stewie Griffin, the preternaturally smart and maniacal baby on “Family Guy,” as he runs through a shopping mall naked in the episode.
“There are many of us with a ‘Kevin Spacey story,’” Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who has also accused Spacey of unwanted advances, wrote on Facebook this week.
And a 2012 episode of the show made a joke about director Brett Ratner bidding on a sex slave, as Newsweek reports. Ratner has been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment by six women, per the Los Angeles Times.
MacFarlane acknowledged that at least one of those allusions to sexual assault was purposeful.
When the Weinstein accusations began to surface in October, MacFarlane took to Twitter to confirm that the joke was pointed, and “came from a place of loathing and anger” over an alleged assault his friend was the victim of.