"Down Syndrome Girl," the unfunny and offensive Family Guy song poking fun at a female character with special needs, has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.
The Feb. 14 Family Guy episode, which the song appeared in, sparked outrage after its premiere - most notably from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who has a son with Down syndrome.
At one point in the episode, the character with Down syndrome said that her mom was "the former governor of Alaska," a clear reference to Palin and her son, Trig.
Palin quickly criticized the show for the distasteful jab at her son. "[W]hy make it tougher on the special needs community? When is enough enough? When are we going to be willing to say some things just aren't really funny?" she said on Feb. 16.
In the aftermath, many celebrities stood in agreement with Palin, including talk show host Joy Behar, the Daily Show's Mo Rocca and comedian Jessica Kirson.
But now the song is being nominated for an Emmy award, facing off against the much more tasteful musical numbers, "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" from "How I Met Your Mother," and Saturday Night Live's "Shy Ronnie."
New York magazine noted that the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics award has been "gaining a reputation as Emmy's quiet nod to First Amendment rights." Last year, the Justin Timberlake-Andy Samberg collaboration "Motherlover" won the award, and in 2007 the same two artists won for the song "Dick in a Box." While both are fairly offensive in content, the lyrics are actually funny - and stop short of mocking people with disabilities.
But many people argued that the lyrics of "Down Syndrome Girl" went too far. These are some lines from the song, as transcribed by the MRC's Noel Sheppard:
And though her pretty face may seem a special person's wettest dream. [...]
You must impress that ultra-boomin', all consumin', poorly-groomin', Down Syndrome girl. [...]
You want to take that little whore and spin her on the dancing floor. [...]
My boy between the two of us we'll get her on the shorty bus and then you're gonna take it on a whirl.
Now go impress that super-thrilling, wish-fulfilling, YooHoo-spilling, ultra-swinging, boner-bringing, gayly-singing, dingalinging, stupefying, fortifying, as of Monday shoe lace-tying, stimulating, titillating, kitty-cat impersonating, mega-rocking, pillow talking, just a little crooked walking, poorly-pouting, poopie-sprouting, for some reason always shouting, fascinating, captivating, happiness and joy-creating, Down Syndrome girl.
The Down syndrome episode wasn't the first time the Family Guy's offensive content generated controversy. The program's creators also aired a show that staged "Terri Schiavo: The Musical" and another episode mocking Jewish people called "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" that was banned from TV.