Patrick Warburton Refuses to Apologize for ‘Family Guy’: ‘Everybody Takes Themselves Too Seriously’

<> at Ziegfeld Theater on June 24, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Actor Patrick Warburton will not apologize for being the voice of the wheelchair-bound police officer Joe Swanson on Family Guy.

Warburton said in an interview with Fox News this week that the world needs satire and everyone takes themselves too seriously.

“I used to apologize for being on Family Guy, and I apologize no more because this world is in horrible need of satire,” Warburton said. “Everybody takes themselves too seriously, and… I think in many ways become an overwhelming mess. But we need humor in our lives, and we need love and humor, acceptance. It’s all rather simple.”

Patrick Warburton’s character Joe Swanson has not actually received the kind of woke backlash that The Simpsons character Apu experienced and Warburton himself appeared squeamish about the show on one occasion. In 2019, he told Digital Spy that he found one episode involving Christ “horribly offensive.”

“There was an episode one time, this has only happened once in 20 years of being on the show—the episode was so offensive I can’t repeat it now. It had to do with Christ on the cross but there was no humor in it and it was just so, so horribly offensive,” he said.

Regardless, Warburton’s refusal to apologize for Family Guy stands in stark contrast to Hank Azaria, who vehemently apologized for voicing the character Apu on The Simpsons after significant woke backlash.

“It became apparent to me, like, ‘Do I keep voicing this character or not?’ And I couldn’t make that decision very quickly. I didn’t know how t0 make it, so I needed to educate myself a lot,” Azaria said.

“I know it’s just a cartoon character, but is this representative of a true example of structural racism, at least as it relates to show business, in this country?” the actor added.

Azaria even said that he feels like he must apologize to every Indian in this country.

“I really do apologize,” Azaria said. “It’s important. I apologize for my part in creating that, and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize. And sometimes I do when it comes up.”

Actor/Director Ben Stiller recently said that he will not apologize for his hit comedy Tropic Thunder, which caused an uproar due to its use of blackface and satirical pokes at actors who exploit mental illness to win an Oscar.

“I make no apologies for Tropic Thunder … It’s always been a controversial movie since when we opened. Proud of it and the work everyone did on it,” Stiller recently said.


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