Long before Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, Seth MacFarlane made a joke at the 2013 Oscars about the film producer’s alleged behavior.
“That one was on purpose,” the Family Guy creator, 44, told Us Weekly exclusively while celebrating the 300th episode of the Fox animated sitcom at a party in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 10.
During the awards ceremony, MacFarlane was on stage with Emma Stone to announce the nominations for best supporting actress when he quipped, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” Video of the joke resurfaced last October after Weinstein, 65, came under fire for mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault, prompting MacFarlane to issue a statement.
“In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances,” he wrote on Twitter on October 11. “She has since courageously come forward to speak out. It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction.”
After releasing his statement, the American Dad cocreator was accused on social media of knowing about Weinstein’s alleged misconduct and not speaking up. In response, he told Us on Wednesday, “I was speaking after having heard a personal account that enraged me. And yeah, if I had to do it over again, I would do it again. I had the good fortune never to have worked with him, nor would I ever have worked with him. But I am happy that I spoke up when I did, even if it was in the form of a veiled satirical moment.”
The Oscars weren’t the only time that MacFarlane essentially predicted the future. In a 2005 episode of Family Guy, Stewie ran naked through a mall, screaming, “I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement!” Eleven years later, the House of Cards alum, 58, was also accused of sexual misconduct.
“Family Guy writers were almost hearing a lot of the same rumors that everyone else was,” the Ted star told Us. “If we in some way contributed to the exposure of a lot of this stuff, then that’s a positive thing and I’m happy the show was a part of that, indirectly or not. … There is a lot of press out there that says we were sort of these prognosticators, that we knew things that everyone didn’t. It’s not true. I wish it were. It would be a lot more badass if it were, but it’s not.”
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