Comic Seth MacFarlane’s animated sitcom "Family Guy" joked about a character escaping from Kevin Spacey 12 years before sexual assault allegations emerged against him last Sunday.
“Help, I’ve escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement,” Stewie Griffin shouts while running seemingly naked in public. “Help me.”
MacFarlane voices Stewie Griffin, a preschool-aged child that has since become one of the series’ most popular characters.
CNN on Monday reported that the joke first appeared in a 2005 episode of "Family Guy," over a decade before controversial accusations surrounded Spacey this week.
Spacey on Sunday revealed he is gay after fellow actor Anthony Rapp accused him of attempting to seduce him in 1986.
Rapp was 14 years old at the time Spacey allegedly advanced upon him sexually, while Spacey was 26 years old.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor,” Spacey said in a statement. “I’m beyond horrified to hear his story.”
“I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been 30 years ago,” he continued.
“But if I did behave then as he describes, then I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Spacey added that he chooses to “live as a gay man,” publicly addressing his sexual orientation for the first time.
Rapp on Sunday said that he met Spacey while both men were performing in Broadway shows in New York City in 1986.
Spacey invited Rapp to his apartment for a party, according to the latter, only to pick him up, place him on his bed, and climb on top of him in an attempted sexual advance.
The "Family Guy" joke regarding Spacey is now getting renewed attention following the allegations about the performer.
MacFarlane also needled Harvey Weinstein at the 2013 Oscar Awards with a joke that has gotten reshared after sexual assault and harassment claims emerged against the Hollywood producer.
"Congratulations," he said alongside actress Emma Stone after announcing the nominees for best supporting actress that year. "You five ladies no longer have to pretend you're attracted to Harvey Weinstein."
Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting or harassing them since exposes on his past behavior first appeared this month.