Back in 2005, there was a joke on an episode of Family Guy that saw infant character Stewie Griffin run naked though a shopping mall shouting, “Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement!”
The episode at the time seemed merely reflective of Family Guy’s random sense of humour, but given the sexual misconduct allegations that have emerged in relation to the actor since, doesn't seem so random after all.
During a Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour panel, creator Seth MacFarlane insisted that the joke came to be in relation to a rumour that was going around.
Asked how he got away with including the line, MacFarlane answered: “I don’t remember who pitched the joke. I remember when it was pitched… that was a rumour I had actually not heard and other people in the writers’ room had. And it had to be sort of explained to me: ‘Oh, there’s this rumour that’s going on.'”
Producer Alec Sulkin, further explaining the context of the rumour, said: “I think that that was something where he was coming off a story where he had been kind of beaten up in a London park, and he claimed that he was walking his dog late at night and fell, and I think that raised a lot of eyebrows. It’s one of the things in terms of Standards where if they heard the rumors, as we have, then they’ll allow it.”
No smoke without a fire.