The man who led a revolt against the raunchy sitcom has a personal motive

By Joe Flint
Updated June 29, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Just the Facts Ma’am…. There’s no denying it’s a great story: A Connecticut prep-school headmaster leads a one-man revolt against Fox’s raunchy sitcom ”Family Guy,” and succeeds in persuading some advertisers to pull spots from the show in the name of family values.

Problem is, that’s not the whole story. Turns out Richardson Schell, the Kent School head leading the anti-”Family” charge, has a personal ax to grind with ”Family Guy” creator and 1991 Kent graduate Seth MacFarlane.

Schell is apparently upset that MacFarlane chose the surname Griffin for the show’s fictional family, the same last name as a Schell aide. Schell, Fox execs say, tried to get MacFarlane to change the name before the show premiered but was refused. MacFarlane’s mother even got caught up in the brouhaha, quitting her job in the Kent admissions office rather than deal with the growing tension between Schell and her son. The Griffin family is said to be considering litigation against Fox and MacFarlane. Schell was unavailable for comment, and a Fox spokesman said that ”none of the show’s characters are based on any real family.” Thank God.

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