The Simpsons/Family Guy Crossover Episode Is Under Fire Over A Rape Joke

There’s big trouble a-brewin’ in little Springhog or Quafield or whatever you want to call the crossover city. The upcoming Simpsons and Family Guy crossover episode has found itself in a wee spot of hot water over a… let’s call it unsavoury – at best – joke involving the extraordinarily sensitive subject of rape.

Though the episode hasn’t even aired yet – it hits TVs in the US this weekend, whilst local audiences will have to wait till September 30th before it gets broadcasted by 7Mate – but a clip of the offending gag has hit the internet, and it’s causing quite the ruckus.
The scene in question features Bart Simpson and Stewie Griffin, wherein Bart introduces Stewie to the uninhibited joy that is prank calling Moe’s Tavern. Bart leads off with a typical Simpsons-style pun name – “I’m looking for a Mr. Keybum. First name Lee.” – but it’s when Stewie has a go for himself that things go from nought to one hundred in a hell of a rush.
Check it out for yourself.

The Parents Television Council – the conservative moral compass of the media, if you will – has stated that they were “troubled” by the scene, in which the line “Your sister’s being raped,” is the kicker.
Meanwhile, Katherine Hull Fliflet – a spokesperson for the Washington-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network – seems to have understood the purpose of the joke a lot better than the extraordinarily literal PTC, but nonetheless views it with some trepidation, stating:

I think the show is making it clear that rape is not funny by how they are positioning the joke. It’s my hope that would be the viewers’ take-away.

Comedy, in general, is a tough gig. And it’s important that for the art form to maintain integrity, nothing can be completely off limits in regards to sourcing jokes. But with sensitive topics such as this one – particularly given the unrelenting prevalence of rape culture and perceived male ownership within the developed world – it means, in quite simple terms, that the joke has to be good.
Is this a particularly good joke? Comedy’s subjective and all, but I know I didn’t laugh.
But hey, make up your own minds on the subject. That’s the beauty of comedy.