Not since the Oscars has Seth MacFarlane been the target of such an outpouring of grief.
Angry “Family Guy” fans are flooding Twitter with fierce messages of disapproval after the longtime character Brian Griffin was unceremoniously killed off in Sunday’s episode. On Monday tweets aimed at the @SethMacFarlane Twitter account rolled in at about 30 per minute, with the vast majority of tweeters saying they vehemently condemn of the decision to kill off the Griffin family dog. Civility was in short supply as fans bombarded the 40-year-old MacFarlane with insults, slurs and other cheap shots. Many vowed to never watch the show again.
.@SethMacFarlane way to completely ruin a fantastic series, you schmuck.
â€” Ryan Baris (@Ryan_Baris) November 25, 2013
@SethMacFarlane You dog-murdering son of a bitch.
â€” Leil Cardoza (@Leil) November 25, 2013
@SethMacFarlane you are going to pay for my weight loss surgery, I am now comfort eating after the loss of such a great friend ;(
â€” Dillon Ludick (@Dillon0347) November 25, 2013
You're heartless @SethMacFarlane
â€” Laura Jackman (@LauraKJackman) November 25, 2013
â€” owen_F9T (@owenharris58) November 25, 2013
Brian, voiced by MacFarlane and presented as a cocktail-sipping, morally conflicted pseudo-intellectual, serves as the conscience of the long-running series, often offering the only voice of reason amid a cavalcade of raunchiness, sight gags and non-sequiturs. The character was killed off in a car accident in the episode “Life of Brian” and will be replaced by another dog character, this one voiced by former “Sopranos” star Tony Sirico.
In the wake of Brian’s death, fans used several hashtags, including #BringBackBrian, #WhyBrian and #RIPBrian to express their grief. Countless tweeters also offered alternative suggestions. The consensus? MacFarlane should have killed off Meg, the elder sibling and black sheep of the Griffin family.
Of all characters they kill Brian?! Why didn't they kill meg?!
â€” Mr. Randy Watson (@doc_bueno) November 25, 2013
Brian you were so cool. Why didn't Meg die instead?
â€” Kid Citrik___3Anes (@Daniel_Argones) November 25, 2013
How are they killing off Brian? Why couldn't they kill off meg no one cares about her
â€” Hey It's Dani (@daniquincey) November 25, 2013
Why did they kill Brian and not Meg! #familyguy
â€” Sinéad Treanor (@_sineadtreanor) November 25, 2013
i can't believe Family Guy did this to me! Why would you kill Brian!!! Take Meg instead....#BringBackBrian
â€” amir sahba (@amirjsahba) November 25, 2013
It’s unclear if Brian’s death is a permanent change or a short-lived publicity stunt, but many fans aren’t waiting to find out. The move has inspired no less than six petitions on Change.org, according to a spokesman for the site. The largest, launched by Aaron Thompson of Tuscaloosa, Ala., attracted more than 2,600 signatures in just a few hours. Thompson is petitioning MacFarlane and Fox Broadcasting to bring the character back to the series.
“Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience,” Thompson wrote. “He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show.”