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Seth MacFarlane, Gracious Family Guy

Seth MacFarlane, Gracious Family Guy

Seth MacFarlane’s turn as Oscar host Sunday night was a risky experiment. MacFarlane’s vulgar television and movie productions are not everyone’s taste, myself included. As much as I love movies, I was almost tempted to opt out of watching the Oscars this year because he was hosting.

However, keeping with tradition, I hosted an Oscar party and tuned in anyway. And I’m glad I did. I wound up enjoying (most) of the event, especially the musical performances. And I think he did a much better job than James Franco did a couple of years back.

I was open to giving MacFarlane a chance because of a story about a personal encounter I had once heard.

A couple of years ago, MacFarlane was a guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Also on the program that evening was conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart. They were coming on the show to present opposing views on various political and pop culture issues. After the show, Breitbart approached MacFarlane.

“I’m glad you didn’t lay into me,” Breitbart told the animation mogul. “My son is a huge fan of ‘Family Guy,’ and he would have sided with you.”

“Where’s your son now?” MacFarlane asked.

Andrew said that he was sleeping over at a friend’s house.

“Call him,” said MacFarlane. (see source here)

MacFarlane then spent 10 minutes on the phone with the youngster imitating all the boy’s favorite characters and creating a very special memory. Regardless of the fact that I don’t consider “Family Guy” appropriate viewing for children, for MacFarlane to go out of his way to do something nice for the child of someone he had just met, someone he met precisely because they are fundamentally opposed ideologically, speaks well of him as an individual.

MacFarlane is no Christian, but displayed genuine kindness to someone he was moments earlier passionately opposing on national television. Can I say I am as gracious to those I have significant disagreements with?

Photo by s_bukley /