Seth MacFarlane is a big Bernie Sanders supporter. But that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of everything Bernie Sanders supporters believe in.
MacFarlane, best known as the creator and voices of your favorite “Family Guy” characters, as well as the writer/director/star of the successful “Ted” films, told the Jason Rantz Show that he is not happy with some of the tactics used by his fellow Sanders supporters.
“I actually am one of the people who has been a little disappointed at the way that, not necessarily the campaign, the supporters of the campaign have treated Hillary,” he said. “I think she’s been treated a little harshly by the left.”
MacFarlane, who will be performing jazz with the Seattle Symphony Friday night at Benaroya Hall, says he is careful about using his celebrity as a platform, but thrust himself into the political fray with a speech at a Sanders campaign that went viral.
Rantz asked MacFarlane how he balances his decidedly politically incorrect comedy with Sanders supporters, who so often speak out against that flavor of humor.
The 42-year-old says he frequently has this conversation with fellow comedian Bill Mahr and started the explanation by pointing to Donald Trump’s rise in the Republican party.
“That party has lost some control,” he said. “This is a guy who is the result of a lot of bigotry gone wild. On the other hand, my side, the left, has gotten a little unreasonable when it comes to separating the trivial from the profound.”
MacFarlane pointed to examples such as Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who refused to sign gay marriage license, and the recent religious freedom legislation passed in North Carolina and Mississippi as reasonable places to harness outrage. But then there is Justine Sacco, a corporate communications director who tweeted an insensitive AIDS joke that caused an international out roar.
“She was destroyed based on something that she just tossed off,” he said. “What the conservatives would argue, and I would agree with them in this instance, is that you may not like it, but it’s freedom of speech. You don’t destroy somebody for that. She was not infringing upon anyone’s rights. At the end of the day, the only person who got trampled on was her.”
MacFarlane says the distinction is the biggest area the Bernie crowd must learn to reconcile.
“There are things that are truly infringements of rights and things that truly count as profound injustices and there are things that just kind of piss you off but you’ve got to get over it,” he said. “And they’re not the same. And the problem is if we don’t pick our battles, then we look unreasonable. And I think that’s part of where Trump has come from because we have not been able to separate things that are injustices from things that we’re just offended by. And it’s troubling.”