Reading Rainbow: Celebrity PR on Seth MacFarlane’s Donation to Education

By Jonathan Carey, Chapter Member

Even with the limited time and resources, people still want to give back as much as they can. Celebrities are always getting in on charity and helping others, too, and Seth Macfarlane is no different. Recently, MacFarlane donated one-fifth of the funding needed to bring back a classic educational program for children using the popular donation site, Kickstarter.

 LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow series has been campaigning to resuscitate the classic show where adults read fictional storybooks to children, encouraging them to think through their wildest imaginations.  The fantasy-styled storybook series started its chapter on June 6th, 1983 on PBS Kids and ran its course for 155 episodes with Burton taking kids on a magical journey through storybooks.  This storybook series may have ended eight years ago, but LeVar Burton has been busy campaigning for a comeback this year.  Burton’s kickstarter pledge goal was a cool $1 million to crack open the books again on the series.  The Reading Rainbow campaign found huge success by the audiences, raking in at over $5 million at the end of the campaign.  A well-known celebrity made a generous donation towards the cause, being responsible for one-fifth of the funding.  That generous donator happens to be Seth McFarlane.

 On Kickstarter, participants donate money towards unique inventions in the source of film, books, games, food, culture, clothing, and other categories.  The creator sets a time limit and certain amount of funding he/she needs to complete the project.  Once the creator reaches his or her goal, they work to bring the special project to light.  Some projects include bigger prizes for certain fans who donate a specific amount of money.  The website provides various projects aimed to revive an old television series back to the modern world.

Reading Rainbow, popular Children’s show that premiered in 1983.

Reading Rainbow, popular Children’s show that premiered in 1983.

Creator of animated series Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show, McFarlane donated $1 million to LeVar Burton for the revival of Reading Rainbow.  You know him as the voice of Peter Griffin, a buffoonish father of 3 who gets himself into wild escapades with his neighbor friends Quagmire, Cleveland, and Joe in the city of Quahog.  McFarlane also lends the voice of evil baby genius Stewie and alcoholic writer Brian Griffin, the liberal unemployed dog of the Griffin Family.  This is not the first instance Seth McFarlane has supported an educational program for general audiences.  Seth MacFarlane teamed up with famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for a modern take of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage with the updated version, Cosmos: A Space Odyssey.  As executive producer of the series, McFarlane produced 13 episodes of the show beginning on March 8th, 2014.  

Seth MacFarlane, creator of animated series Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of animated series Family Guy, American Dad, and Cleveland Show.

Even through his animated series on FOX, Seth MacFarlane has always worked to throw in educational lessons to learn about life.  Family Guy characters Brian and Stewie Griffin are portrayed as the intelligent members of the family, yet they squabble over frivolous problems during their side-story.  In various instances, the genius duo team together for crazy journeys around the world. Coming from the voice of blundering Irish dad Peter Griffin, MacFarlane educates the general public through instances of his work.  Whether it is Brian and Stewie Griffin exploring new universes or Stan Smith lecturing his children on gun safety, viewers learn a thing or two through Seth MacFarlane’s entertaining work. 

 MacFarlane is not the only noted celebrity working to educate people in the country.  Veteran Indie film actor Robert Redford is an activist for various causes including LGBT rights, environmentalism, the arts, and Native American rights.  Known as the ‘Godfather of Indie Film’, Redford supports various political causes aimed to better the country.  Mark Ruffalo, known for playing the Hulk on The Avengers and as the lead actor on Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart, is an environmentalist who strongly opposes hydrofracking in the country.  Lately, Ruffalo worked with Detroit residents to bring water back into the infamous ‘Motor City’ of Michigan.  Many other celebrities push their political agenda out to the audience, each bringing in new dilemmas to fight.

Brian and Stewie, the dynamic duo in Family Guy

Brian and Stewie, the dynamic duo in Family Guy

With all these celebrities fighting for worthy causes, it is interesting to see who is really making an impact on the world.  It is astonishing to hear about a crude animator like Seth MacFarlane striving to educate the general public better than our politicians.  For a celebrity spitting out dirty jokes on his buffoonish animated series, MacFarlane provides intelligent insights to make America a better place.  It is important to ur society that actors, actresses, comedians, and comediennes are taking a stand for what they believe in. The youth, the future of America are more affected by that these celebrities do than what political figures do in our society.  One thing is for sure: Celebrities seem more in tune with rallying to make America a better place to live.  We don’t know what MacFarlane’s next project will be, but we are sure that he will likely educate us on the controversial subjects from which we shy away.  Seth MacFarlane is one of the growing celebrities in America currently working towards educating the American people about complex problems, one day at a time.

Mark Ruffalo, activists for

Mark Ruffalo, activists for



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