Pinsky is terribly confused about the meaning of anti-Semitism. He is wrong to say of MacFarlane that it is "well past time to call him out" for being an anti-Semite.
'Family Guy' is a satirical TV cartoon. It is a brilliantly funny show. It mocks just about everything in our culture from family values to relationships to religions in general and in specific - all religions, all values, all relationships - without prejudice for one over another. We all know that stereotyping in jokes is not the highest form of humor. It's usually cheap and crass and obnoxious, it's bigoted, but it's not anti-Semitic to make a joke about Jews loving money.
Real anti-Semitism is where you hate all Jews as part of your systematic world view or you discriminate against Jews by policy or laws. Seth MacFarlane does not do that. Mel Gibson does do that. Pinsky ends his article making the ridiculous claim that, "Seth MacFarlane, it seems, is simply a wittier version of Mel Gibson."
Pinsky obviously did not pay attention to what Mel Gibson has done in his personal life and his career. Pinsky is all wrong when he equates tasteless cartoon jokes with Gibson's flat-out full-blown anti-Semitism.
Here's the beginning of an awful ill-conceived opinion article that should never have been published, that is so bad it should be retracted and removed from the Internet. And I rarely say things like that. I mean it.
Sunday night’s episode of “Family Guy,” the long-running animated comedy, included a 25-second segment that illustrated once again creator Seth MacFarlane’s unapologetic anti-Semitism.My opinion, shared by many, is that Seth MacFarlane is a comic genius, and he is not anti-Semitic.
In the episode, main character Peter Griffin and his friends are off on a typically absurdist search to find God and to get Him to stop thwarting their favorite football team, the New England Patriots. In a Jerusalem square they spot Mort Goldman, the obviously Jewish pharmacist from their hometown of Quahog, Rhode Island.
Actually, they spot a “flock” of bobbing Morts, whom they attract by tossing pennies, as you might use popcorn to draw pigeons. The message being, Jews love money. MacFarlane used similar imagery in a much earlier episode, in which Peter’s anti-Semitic father-in-law tries to use a dollar bill tied to a string to distract his wife, who has just told Peter’s wife Lois that she was raised Jewish.
Anti-Semitism is a serious charge, made too quickly and too often. But as someone who has followed MacFarlane’s career, I think it is well past time to call him out. His star is clearly on the rise in Hollywood — he has hosted a major awards show, been writing and directing movies and, most recently, produced the Fox series “Cosmos.” And thus far he has been unimpeded by his consistent record of anti-Semitism...