Family Guy is an animated series on Fox, created by Seth McFarlane and originally executive produced by Aaron McGruder and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Its controversial pilot episode centered around Peter Griffin, an African-American community activist whose courageous advocacy of racial equality gets him kidnapped by the sinister forces of Halliburton.
Griffin's brain is transplanted into the body of a corpulent, Caucasian suburban nitwit; in order to survive, he must act the part of the buffoon for his unknowing new family, while planning his escape with his only ally, the family dog, Frederick. As Sharpton described the series in his original proposal:
"Forever committed to the cessation of the transmogrification of the foundation of this once great nation after the disgrace-tion of the emancipation proclamation, Peter Griffin fights the white man in the best way he knows how. He carefully underlines and poignantly displays the white man's stupidity, ignorance, and oppression by playing the cracker role perfectly."
Fox executives were reportedly deeply uncomfortable with the show's racial subtext, but really enjoyed the part where the dumb fat guy fell down a lot and kept hitting his head on things. Deeply offended, Sharpton and McGruder resigned in protest. McFarlane, swayed by vast suitcases stuffed to the seams with cash, stayed on board to shepherd the vastly revised series to air.
The series debuted in 1999, gaining the immediate love of frat boys, stoners, and Internet pirates everywhere. Though it was cancelled in 2002 by Fox's Anguish division when executives there briefly mistook it for Futurama, the series was revived in 2004 after Fox executives realized they were making enough on DVD sales to buy most of Guatemala.