"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter on Tuesday to condemn an edited clip that suggests Fox's animated comedy predicted Monday's Boston Marathon bombings a month before they occurred.
"The edited 'Family Guy' clip currently circulating is abhorrent. The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims," MacFarlane fumed on Twitter.
The creator was responding to an edited video that has sparked one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories since the Beantown bombings.
One version of the edited clip fuses two scenes from the March 17 "Family Guy" episode "Turban Cowboy." The first portion of the clip depicts "Family Guy" patriarch Peter Griffin, preparing to tell Bob Costas how he won the Boston marathon.
The edited clip then shows Griffin and friends at local boozery the Drunken Clam. After Griffin dials his cell phone, an explosion occurs off-camera. He re-dials, at which point a second explosion occurs, followed by screaming.
In the actual, unedited episode, Griffin tells Costas that he won the marathon by completing it with his car, with a cutaway to him plowing through the racers. The explosion scene ties back to the main plot of the episode, in which he inadvertently befriends a group of terrorists intent on blowing up a bridge in the "Family Guy" setting of Quahog, Rhode Island.
Poor taste right in line with the "Family Guy" tradition? Yes. A prediction of the Boston marathon bombings? Not even close — unless you squint really hard and are already prone to paranoid delusions.
However, that didn't stop conspiracy-obsessed website Infowars from running a story Tuesday titled, "'Family Guy' Episode Predicted Boston Marathon Attack."
"The image of Peter killing the Boston Marathon runners even shows blood and missing limbs, a chilling reminder of the very real scenes of carnage we saw yesterday," wrote Infowars editor/writer Paul Joseph Watson.
To his (partial) credit, Watson noted, "It is important to note that the video shows two clips from different points of the show edited together, but they are from the same episode."
The video embedded in the Infowars story has been removed due to "a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content." Watson's description sounds identical to the video below, also posted on YouTube:
This isn't the only conspiracy theory to develop following Monday's deadly attacks. A photo of a man standing on a roof sparked a frenzy of Twitter speculation Tuesday, which was reported on by such outlets as the New York Daily News and ABC News.