Why Carol Burnett Sued Family Guy (& What Happened Next)

Why Carol Burnett Sued Family Guy (& What Happened Next)


  • Carol Burnett sued Household Man for portraying her iconic sketch collection with out permission, wanting to guard her comedy legacy.
  • The lawsuit stemmed from an episode the place Peter jokes about Burnett working as a janitor, utilizing her well-known character the Charwoman.
  • The lawsuit was dismissed, with the decide ruling that Household Man had the appropriate to create parodies, sustaining the repute of each events.

Iconic comic Carol Burnett as soon as sued Household Man over how the animated collection portrayed her traditional sketch collection The Carol Burnett Present. Whereas Household Man isn’t any stranger to controversy or criticism for its crude humor, the collection left Burnett with no selection however to defend her comedy legacy. From 1967 to 1978, the groundbreaking Carol Burnett Present entertained thousands and thousands, made Burnett and her co-stars family names, and created numerous memorable sketches and characters. So when Burnett turned a punchline for Household Man, Burnett took motion and sued the Fox collection.

Burnett’s lawsuit proved that even somebody with a long time of expertise in comedy can have their limits. In the end, Burnett wished to guard her legacy, believing she had no different choice than to sue and put an finish to the joke. The battle between Carol Burnett and Household Man set a precedent, with one aspect popping out decisively the winner.

Burnett Sued Household Man Over A Character

Carol Burnett’s lawsuit in opposition to Household Man stemmed from the season 4 episode “Peterotica.” Initially airing in April 2006, the episode featured a scene the place Peter and his buddies go to an grownup bookstore. Peter’s issues that the shop will probably be soiled are put to relaxation by Quagmire when he quips “it is fairly clear, Carol Burnett works part-time as a janitor.” The digital camera pans to a cartoon model of Carol Burnett in considered one of her greatest roles, mopping the ground as her well-known character, the Charwoman. Since Household Man didn’t get Burnett’s permission, she sued twentieth Century Fox for $2 million on copyright infringement claims. The lawsuit additionally alleged that the TV present used an altered model of the Carol Burnett Present theme track.

The Charwoman turned Burnett’s signature character due to her many fashionable appearances in sketches on The Carol Burnett Present. Dressed as a home cleaner, Burnett’s charwoman usually let her creativeness get the most effective of her. Her daydreaming would result in performing out an imaginary life, adopted by Burnett ending the sketch with a track and dance. The character is much from the edgier, raunchier comedy typically present in Household Man episodes. Given the crude setting and jokes surrounding Burnett’s character, it is comprehensible why she felt the necessity to defend her creation.

What The Consequence Of Burnett’s Household Man Lawsuit Was

Peter and Meg talking to a piercer on Family Guy

twentieth Century Fox defended the Household Man episode as a parody. The studio pointed to Carol Burnett’s personal historical past of satire and mocking celebrities in her sketch present, suggesting that the comic’s lawsuit took issues too far. Burnett’s lawsuit requested that Household Man take away the references from the episode however Fox refused to take action.

In June 2007, U.S. District Decide Dean D. Pregerson dismissed Burnett’s case in opposition to Household Man. The decide cited First Modification protections in ruling that Household Man had a proper to create parodies. Burnett acquired no compensation from the studio, and Household Man continued to air the episode with none edits. Ultimately, no hurt was accomplished to the repute of both Carol Burnett or Household Man as each have cemented spots within the historical past of tv comedy.

Household Man season 22 premieres October 1, 2023, on Fox.


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