Seth MacFarlane spoke about “Family Guy” introducing the transgender character Ida Davis in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Some of the jokes surrounding the character have been labelled as transphobic by viewers. However, MacFarlane insisted one of his writers penned the storyline from experience.
The character in question, Ida Davis, is Glenn, Gary, and Brenda Quagmire’s father; a Vietnam war hero who undergoes gender confirmation surgery.
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MacFarlane told THR: “There isn’t a big change I would make. It’s more about individual moments and individual jokes.
“The intent of the ‘Family Guy’ episode was to show that Quagmire’s father was still a war hero, and still someone that he could look up to and respect.
“Actually, that episode was written by Steve Callaghan, a writer on ‘Family Guy’, who had the same experience with his own parent – his father had transitioned to a woman – and he was writing, in many ways, from his own experience.”
He went on, referencing his adventure fiction series “The Orville”: “Now, certainly the language of ‘Family Guy’ makes that story a little bit different than it would be on something like ‘The Orville’, but I think that’s something that gets lost a little bit at times when we think of that show, that Steve was writing from experience.”
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After Ida came back to the show in 2019, Out Magazine‘s Mey Rude was among those criticizing the character, commenting on one of the jokes which saw Ida get told by the bartender that she couldn’t look at porn on her phone there.
She responded, “Oh, it’s OK, I’m transgender,” to which the bartender replied, “Oh, I had no idea. Do whatever you want all of the time.”
Brian the Dog was also reassured by his family, “things that were gross five years ago are heroic,” after he worried about having sex with Ida.
Rude wrote: “Thanks for calling me gross and saying anyone willing to have sex with is me a hero, Seth. That’s just great.”