SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of Sunday’s episode of Family Guy on Fox.
It was an eye-opening episode of Fox’s Family Guy Sunday. The “Send in Stewie, Please” episode, which aired commercial-free, took viewers into Stewie Griffin’s therapy session, exploring his sexuality (which has been a running joke) directly for the first time and other things that revealed Stewie has been pretending to be someone he’s not.
Ian McKellan guest-starred as Stewie’s therapist Dr. Cecil Pritchfield, who was called in to counsel Stewie after the Griffin’s youngest, most evil member did something terrible to a pre-school classmate.
It was apparent early on during the therapy session that there would still be questions about Stewie’s sexuality.
“Stewie’s awareness of his sexuality is this uncertain thing, and that needs to stay as it is. His uncertainty gives him a vulnerability, which is something we need to maintain for the series, writer Gary Janetti told Deadline’s sister pub TVLine. Whether he is [gay] or not, that isn’t going to be answered when he’s a one-year-old. But if you read between the lines, it’s not that difficult to decipher. He’s not even sure ‘heterosexual’ is a real word!”
Family Guy executive producer Rich Appel told TVLine that he and Janetti also discussed the issue with creator Seth MacFarlane “whose opinion was to not lean into [Stewie’s sexuality] too much. He’s still a baby. He doesn’t know yet, and sexuality is a very fluid matter. It’s better to keep that as something that’s not determined yet.”
Dr. Pritchfield, who happens to be British, also saw right through Stewie’s fake accent. “I liked the idea of that being the reveal,” Janetti added. “It felt truthful that somebody who didn’t feel like he fit in would create an artificial personality. To an extent, that’s what he’s done. And then to have Ian’s character — the one person he’s sharing this big secret with — not even hear the difference was another fun opportunity. It felt like a good way to show Stewie’s insecurities in a way that felt truthful to the history of the series.”