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‘Family Guy’ Actor Says Palins Didn’t Get the Joke

Posted on Feb 19, 2010
Family Guy
Fox via YouTube

Andrea Fay Friedman’s animated “Family Guy” character, Ellen, cracks wise to her dinner date on last Sunday’s show.

Turns out that Andrea Fay Friedman, the voice actor who played the part of Ellen on the last episode of “Family Guy,” has Down syndrome, as does her character on Fox’s cheeky cartoon. As it also happens, Friedman thinks Sarah Palin got the wrong idea from one of Ellen’s wisecracks on the show, when the character tells her dinner date, “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska.”

That apparently didn’t sit well with Palin, now a Fox News commentator, who called the creators of “Family Guy” “cruel, coldhearted people” and made room on her Facebook page for one of her actual daughters, Bristol, to signal her own disapproval as well. To both Palins, Friedman offered the following hint in an exchange with The New York Times: “I think the word is ‘sarcasm.’ ”

In a Times interview published Thursday, Friedman had more to say about the Palins, “Family Guy” and her career.

The New York Times:

When did you find out about the reaction that the episode elicited from Sarah Palin and her family?

[laughs] That I did not even know about until my mom told me, “You’re on Channel 4!” And when I watched on Channel 4, on “Extra,” and I saw Sarah Palin with her son Trig. I’m like, “I’m not Trig. This is my life.” I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.

Do you agree with what she and her daughter Bristol were saying, that the character and the jokes were insulting to people with Down syndrome?

It’s not really an insult. I was doing my role, I’m an actor. I’m entitled to say something. It was really funny. I was laughing at it. I had a nice time doing voiceover. It was my first time doing a voiceover, and I had fun.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, April 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

sports cars, April 23 at 1:35 pm,

Correct.  Rupert Murdoch wants Palin recognizable to the populace so that he will be able to use her to promote his propaganda, like he does with Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and a slew of others on his FOX News Network that he supports with his Wall Street Journal.  Rupert Murdoch bought a house in China and that is where he should stay. Murdoch and his FOX News propaganda network need to be kicked out of the country.

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By sports cars, April 23, 2010 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Family Guy is on the FOX Network that hired Sarah Palin, so it is highly unlikely they were actually trying to make the Palin’s uncomfortable; more than likely a means of attention grabbing to keep Sarah Palin in the news.

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By JessAD, March 15, 2010 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

The Palins have absolutely nothing of value to add to the world, and it would be wise for them to go back under the rock from whence they came. 

Seriously, kudos to Freidman & the Family Guy Crew!

Jess from

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Rupert Murdoch’s whole idea is nothing more than to keep Sarah Palin in the news, no matter how he has to do it.  He wants to propagandize the populace to think Palin will be a benefit to them.

Palin is a quitter, Glenn Beck is an uneducated alcholic, Rush Limbaugh is a druggie and I wouldn’t doubt that OReilly is an alcoholic, that makes them perfect for the Conservative Right EXTREME; Bush was an alcoholic. .  It doesn’t matter to Rupert Murdoch, all that matters to him is that his employees do exactly as he says; and they do.  The script is to say anything that will destroy the Left, liberals and socialists in the minds of the populace to get outrageously huge paychecks.

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, February 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose, it still isn’t funny. there was no mention of that incident or lampooning
of the word “retard.” the mere presence of palin’s daughter in an episode is not
satire. even if it was done well, who cares? why give palin any more attention, just
ignore that lady! family guy has turned into a completely brain-dead show filled
with pop culture references you should be ashamed of knowing. and they are
trying too hard.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

See it is the whole Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. “Quisp” and “Quake” thing, as BabylonDon, reported February 21 at 10:35 am on this thread, just like alcoholic, Glenn Beck, is a “Quisp” and “Quake” populace leader for News Corp.  Here’s Glen Beck “Confessing his past dire drinking problem, Beck insists that “progressives are a cancer eating the Constitution,” and conservatives must experience “the shame of being wrong.”

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, February 22, 2010 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

Russian Paul

I guess you missed the whole Sarah Palin routine of calling for an Obama aide to be fired for using the word ‘retard’ but justifying Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word ‘retard.’

There was controversy of her ‘faux righteousness.’

That is what makes this cartoon relevent.  Get it now?

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, February 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

I saw it. It wasn’t funny. What’s the joke? Merely mentioning the fact that Palin has
a down syndrome child is not satire. And why didn’t they make their joke a year
ago when it mattered instead of bringing up old news?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 21, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

“Quisp” and “Quake”— Same thing.
Corporations love to think for the populace, and the populace does have a tendency to just let them. 

The populace need to somehow break free of this type of corporate control.  Teach themselves to think for themselves and get their own independent thought so that corporations like News Corp. can’t control the thinking of the populace so easy.

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By BabylonDon, February 21, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

Agreed Martha, this is a ‘controversy’ whipped up by employees of ONE company, News Corp. They’re both cynically using one of Palin’s political footballs.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, February 21, 2010 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

The most interesting thing about this article is the fact that it does not mention that the NY Times did not print Friedman’s entire email.

The NY Times left out the part where she accuses Palin of carrying her baby ‘under her arm like a loaf of French bread for sympathy and votes.’

The question to be asked is WHY THE NEW YORK TIMES feels it has to protect Sarah Palin????

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Family Guy is on the FOX Network that hired Sarah Palin, so it is highly unlikely they were actually trying to make the Palin’s uncomfortable; more than likely a means of attention grabbing to keep Sarah Palin in the news.

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By Basoflakes, February 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Hurray for Ms Freidman.  She makes Palin look like a moron.

Hmm, I think maybe this was the plan by Seth Macfarlane all along.  Excellant!

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By devark, February 20, 2010 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh no, a cartoon said something I don’t like, time to call a press conference! People wonder why our children second guess our so called freedoms?

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By ardee, February 20, 2010 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

Sheesh, Mundt, get a clue. Far from ridiculing those with Downs Syndrome that skit showed them to be people, with intellect and wit. One only wishes you had a bit more of both.

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By Mundt, February 20, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Poor Andrea Friedman probably said what her “Family Guy” producer told her to say. It can’t be easy for her to earn a livng. Maybe in future segments, “Family Guy” will ridicule people who suffer from cerebral palsey and multiple sclerosis. What a barrel of laughs!

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By Harold, February 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People react to or in the case of the Family Guy show about who they can be abusive towards to get a laugh. Friedman said she was accepting of this type of humor. You have to remember that children and young adults watch these shows and become accustom to the content.Even if someone didn’t have Downs syndrome, would you want your daughter to be disrespected and treated like a whore? Even if the intent of the episode was to attack Sarah Palin, they used her child to do it and they were abusive toward that child. When abuse in society becomes an accepted practice on such a widespread level it’s no longer entertainment, it becomes reality especially for children who are quite capable of emulating it. The video was about child abuse. Even though the character was portrayed as having Downs syndrome, it was about disrespecting and abusing a child. It would not surprise me in the least if a petafile was responsible for writing the lyrics to that song.

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