In a two-part episode of The Family Guy, the family travels to Chelyabinsk, where Meg decides to stay and begin a relationship with a Russian hacker Ivan. Meg is so enamored with her new home in Russia that she covers the Beauty and the Beast song “Belle” in a spoof.
Seth McFarland, the show’s creator, has pissed off Russia.
A Russian official thought the episode went too far, calling it “deliberately offensive.” Maybe it’s cultural, but lots of comedy is deliberately offensive. That’s why we laugh.
The controversy began with episodes 19 and 20 of the 21st season, “From Russia with Love” and “Adult Education.” The two-part episode capped out the long-running Fox comedy’s 21st season.
Yana Lantratova, a deputy from the Chelyabinsk area, is upset over the stereotypical characters in the musical piece. She spoke out against the portrayal of her city in the Russian newspaper Rise, and she demanded that the show be banned in Russia.
This is a purposely provocative creative depiction that has little to do with reality, but the artist has the right to his view, as Lantratova pointed out.
She claimed it was an act of sabotage by the United States, an artistic form of information warfare. She said McFarland aimed to portray Russians as miserable people who indulge in heavy drinking, drug use, and bribery.
Nexta, a major news outlet in Eastern Europe, said that Lantratova is trying to ban the show.
An Eastern European specialist with a large Twitter following named Sergej Sumlenny claimed the episode’s animated depiction of Chelyabink’s surroundings was based on an actual city photo, adding that the animation is very authentic.
Twitter users worldwide have been posting photos and making similar observations about Chelyabinsk.
Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis often performs the role of Meg Griffin, but the singing voice used in the sketch appears not to be her.
The episode allowed Kunis to demonstrate her Russian language skills.
She has also publicly declared her solidarity with Ukraine’s fight against Russia.