Family Guy, South Park, The Simpsons – these are just some shows you wouldn’t expect to teach about the most important insights in life. But to motivational speaker Matt Glowacki, these shows can do exactly that.
To Matt, a Family Guy episode is a 20 minute lecture on diversity.
Matt Glowacki was born without legs, but this doesn’t stop him from travelling around the country to teach young people in schools and universities about diversity.
And according to Matt, what better way to learn about the importance of diversity than to watch episodes of Family Guy all and laugh at all the off-color punchlines the Griffin family throw at each other.
In an interview with Towerline, Matt believes that these inappropriate jokes can make the watchers realize the absurdity of our biases towards each other.
When we laugh at these types of jokes from Family Guy, it makes us think harder about gender issues and stereotypes, according to Glowacki.
This type of diversity training is very different from what Matt has been doing in the past years.
Before, he would usually begin a seminar recounting his struggles in living without legs.
This time, at Towson University, he starts his lectures with a Family Guy clip of Peter Griffin insulting homosexuals or his own wife Lois, after which the whole audience would roar in laughter.
Then when the laughter dies down, Matt processes the audience as they realize the inappropriateness of the joke and how it really is a reflection of the lack of diversity in the society.
By seeing the deeper meaning of Peter’s unfair take on women or his absurd opinions about communities of different ethnicity, the audience are made aware of the diversity issues that everyone needs to learn about.
Matt believes that watching Family Guy is the best way to achieve a deeper learning of diversity.
Family Guy was created by Seth McFarlane for Fox Broadcasting Company in 1999 and has been the subject of much controversy during the past years. The show has been sued multiple times, perhaps the most infamous involving actress Carol Burnett suing the Family Guy and its creator for $ 2 million dollars for allegedly portraying the actress in an 18 second scene in a bad light and without her permission.
Despite being an unlikely source of inspiration for diversity, Matt Glowacki believes that Family Guy is one of the best things people can use to learn about diversity issues.
Image from Flickr.