Why can’t Fox take a joke? The network’s overpriced lawyers are throwing their weight around and coming down heavy on Swiss Family Guy Robinson, a small stage show by Canadian Brian Froud, that blended the characters of Family Guy with the 1812 novel Swiss Family Robinson.
Froud’s one-man show debuted at the Toronto Fringe Festival and was an immediate hit with fans and critics alike. He turned it into a regular performance and started touring the show. All good, right? Not exactly. Despite Family Guy being the king of the meta reference, Fox didn’t see the humour in the show.
"When we learned that this production had made unauthorized use of the Family Guy characters and material, we asked that the producers cease and desist and they have complied. Protecting our intellectual property and copyrights is something we take very seriously at Twentieth Century Fox Television," says Chris Alexander, vice president of media relations for Fox Television.
It seems the network that is famed for broadcasting and then canceling creative shows – Arrested Development, Futurama, Greg the Bunny, Titus, Undeclared, Action, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Firefly and Family Guy twice – is now concerned about protecting its artistic integrity (investment). The oddity of this is Family Guy wouldn’t exist without the plundering pop culture’s past. Each episode is a pastiche of other people’s movies and TV shows that if the same cease and desist was applied to the show it would never have made it on the air.
Froud doesn’t get it either: “We are huge fans of the show ourselves and would never do anything to harm it's stellar reputation. We simply want to frolic within the hysterical realm of the freakin' sweet madness created by Mr. Seth MacFarlane,” states the comedian on his blog.
Seems that Fox doesn’t want anyone else getting a piece of the pie now that the show is lucrative.
Thanks to Culture Popped for the info.