Seth MacFarlane wasn't aware of the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Kevin Spacey when he joked about the issue on 'Family Guy'.

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

The 44-year-old comedian has rubbished the suggestion that he was aware of the allegations - which came to light in 2017 - when he included a joke about Spacey's conduct on the popular cartoon sitcom.

In the 2005 episode, Stewie is seen running naked through a shopping mall while he shouts: "Help! I've escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement!"

During a Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour panel, Seth was asked how he managed to include the joke in the show without there being any backlash.

But the American actor insisted he wasn't aware of the rumours at the time the show aired.

He said: "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.' "

Alec Sulkin, the show's producer, explained that the joke was made in relation to an incident in a London park in 2004.

Initially, the Academy Award-winning star claimed he'd been mugged when he was walking his dog in the hours of the morning, before he changed his story and insisted he'd fallen victim to a "con".

Alec 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."

Spacey came out as gay in October last year after actor Anthony Rapp accused the Hollywood star of making unwanted sexual advances towards him.

Meanwhile, Seth previously revealed he made a joke about producer Harvey Weinstein at the 2013 Oscars, after his friend Jessica Barth claimed he'd harassed her.

As he presented the Best Supporting Actress nominees, Seth joked: "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."

Explaining the quip in 2017, Seth said: "In 2013, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the 'Ted' films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances. She has since courageously come forward to speak out.

"It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction."

Tagged in