In an upcoming episode, Family Guy will send Stewie Griffin to therapy, where he’ll apparently be counseled by Ian McKellen’s voice on several matters, including his sexual orientation.
Family Guy EP Rich Appel tells TV Line that after years of cheap jokes about the one-year-old’s sexual orientation, the show will devote a two-character episode to sussing out the uninspired seamen/semen puns made throughout its 16th seasons. The Oscar-nominated McKellen (who’s openly gay) will voice Stewie’s therapist in what Appel calls “a wonderful episode.” Calling MacFarlane’s performance “spectacular,” Appel says the March episode will “delve into all sorts of things you would think would come up in a therapy session with a boy like Stewie,” whose character arc has gone from homicidal maniac to the diapered half of a buddy comedy. Among the topics of discussion will be “questions of sexuality” about the infant character, who’s displayed interest in boys/men as well as girls/women during the show’s run. Appel says “the episode covers that, and then goes to deeper issues for Stewie.”
Back in 2009, MacFarlane told Playboy (via The New York Daily News) that before the show was canceled in 2002, he’d written a coming-out episode for Stewie. “It had to do with the harassment he took from other kids at school,” MacFarlane said. “He ends up going back in time to prevent a passage in Leviticus from being written: ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination.’” But ultimately, the show chose to “keep it vague, which makes more sense because he’s a 1-year-old. Ultimately, Stewie will be gay or a very unhappy repressed heterosexual. It also explains why he’s so hellbent on killing [his mother, Lois] and taking over the world: He has a lot of aggression, which comes from confusion and uncertainty about his orientation.”