The V Word Is the New N Word.
MacFarlane’s elliptical answer indicates to me that he has never considered the question. He wasn’t asked about the show, he was asked about the epithet. Moreover, the scene did not have people appalled: The audience of the supposed play laughed uproariously when, “Terri” having been called a V, responded, “We hate vegetables!” Moreover, if the show had the kids put on an old fashioned minstrel show that used the N-word–which he almost certainly would never do, and if he did, it is unlikely it would ever be aired–would he ever just reply that the denigrating nature of the word is “for the viewer to judge?” Not on a bet.
Some concerted consciousness raising is clearly required. We have to help people understand that using the V-word to describe people with serious cognitive disabilities is as hateful and dehumanizing to them as using the N-word is to people of color, the F-word to gays, or the C-to women. The time has come to retire it from common and acceptable usage, just as we have (or are doing) with the others.