WASHINGTON, D.C. (Washington Post) - Seth MacFarlane said he is "embarrassed" to work for Fox News' parent company, and it turns out a lot of his Hollywood peers are too.
MacFarlane - the creator and star of Fox's The Orville and its long-running animated comedy Family Guy - is part of a growing number of Fox-affiliated entertainers condemning Fox News amid outcry over the network's sympathetic coverage of the Trump administration's highly-criticized policy of separating immigrant families.
That list includes directors Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, in addition to Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan, who signaled in a series of tweets Tuesday that he might want to leave his overall deal with 20th Century Fox, which produces the show (though it airs on ABC).
On Saturday, MacFarlane lashed out at Fox News host Tucker Carlson for urging viewers not to believe what they hear on other networks."If you're looking to understand what's actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they're telling you on the big news stations," Carlson said Friday on his talk show.
"In other words, don't think critically, don't consult multiple news sources, and in general, don't use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News" MacFarlane wrote Saturday in response to a tweet from CNN's Brian Stelter, who quoted Carlson's plea. "It's business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company."
Deadline reports that MacFarlane followed his tweet up with a hefty donation to National Public Radio, pledging US$2 million to NPR and US$500,000 to its Los Angeles membership station, KPCC.
On Monday, Apatow, who said he hasn't worked for Fox since 2002, urged "Fox stars and executives" to speak out against the news network. "Who has a movie, TV show, sporting event, news show at Fox?" he tweeted. "How can you remain silent when they promote these policies?"
Levitan echoed MacFarlane's sentiments Monday night after Laura Ingraham described child detention centers as "essentially summer camps" on her Fox News show, "The Ingraham Angle."
"Let me officially join @SethMacFarlane in saying I'm disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews." tweeted Levitan, who added that her comments are "the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for." On Tuesday, Levitan upped the ante, tweeting that he "looks forward to seeing #ModernFamily through to the end and then, sale or no sale, setting up shop elsewhere." Levitan later clarified that he isn't officially parting ways with the studio just yet, in a statement obtained by Deadline. "I have great respect and admiration for . . . everyone at 20th Century Fox TV studio who have all treated me so well for almost two decades," he said. "For now, I will take some time to see where these people land, and at that point I will make a decision about my future." Actor Adam Scott, who currently stars in Fox's Ghosted, also chastised Fox News following Ingraham's summer camp comparison.
Wendy Molyneux, a writer for the animated Fox comedy Bob's Burgers voiced the same sentiment. "I think this is the POV of almost every artist/writer/actor working with the entertainment division at FOX, which is progressive and open minded, but brought down by the despicable news division," she tweeted. "Hard to reconcile. I think they'll have a hard time holding on to artists."
Feig, who helmed the 2016 Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy, which was distributed by 20th Century Fox, tweeted that he "cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children."
Meanwhile, Apatow, who executive produced Feig's cult-hit dramedy Freaks And Geeks, wants to keep the backlash going. As he tweeted Tuesday, "Who is next?"