Family Guy Voice Actress With Down Syndrome Says Palin Doesn’t Get ‘Sarcasm’
February 19, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Andrea Fay Friedman, 39, is an accomplished actress, who is known for her recurring role on the ABC 1990s television series, “Life Goes On.” She also has Down Syndrome and has unwillingly been thrown into a much-publicized feud between Sarah Palin and the creators of Fox’s Family Guy animated comedy series. Friedman provided the voice for the teenage girl with Down Syndrome in a recent Family Guy episode that has raised the ire of the thin-skinned Sarah Palin, whom is always on the lookout for another opportunity for politically expedient victimhood. Friedman’s cartoon character was portrayed as the mentally handicapped, but bossy date of the character Chris. She said that she was “the daughter of the former Governor of Alaska.” And Sarah Palin along with her daughter Bristol jumped on the slight, claiming that the show cruelly mocked her one-year-old son Trig who also suffers from Down Syndrome. Friedman responded that Palin has no sense of humor and doesn’t grasp the concept of sarcasm.
Taking to her Facebook page once again, Palin posted a comment from Bristol, attacking the Family Guy’s writers as “heartless jerks.” And Palin continued her campaign against Family Guy with an appearance on Fox News’ The O’Reilly factor, where she said the cartoon series “really isn’t funny” and was the work of “cruel, cold-hearted people.”
But Friedman, is taking the brouhaha in stride and says that Palin should lighten up, because a little humor goes a long way. In an email interview with The NY Times, Friedman says that she thought her throwaway line, “I am the daughter of the former Governor of Alaska, was funny:
“I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line “I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska” was very funny. I think the word is sarcasm. In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life.”
Friedman also spoke via telephone with The NY Times about her experience, providing the voice of the Family Guy character:
“Q. Did they specifically tell you that the character you were going to play also had Down syndrome?
A. Yeah, they told me I was playing Ellen, who was Miss Bossy. I didn’t want to be bossy, but since they want me to be bossy, I just had to be as the character. I had to be bossy, as part of my process. That’s the only way to transform the real me to an animated person. So I had to do what an actor does. I just wing it and have fun with it.”
“Q. When did you find out about the reaction that the episode elicited from Sarah Palin and her family?
A. [laughs] That I did not even know about until my mom told me, “You’re on Channel 4!” And when I watched on Channel 4, on “Extra,” and I saw Sarah Palin with her son Trig. I’m like, “I’m not Trig. This is my life.” I was making fun of Sarah Palin, but not her son.”
“Q. Do you agree with what she and her daughter Bristol were saying, that the character and the jokes were insulting to people with Down syndrome?
A. It’s not really an insult. I was doing my role, I’m an actor. I’m entitled to say something. It was really funny. I was laughing at it. I had a nice time doing voiceover. It was my first time doing a voiceover, and I had fun.”
Finally, a voice of reason.
See The New York Times for more.