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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane has compared a tough new immigration law in Arizona to those of Nazi Germany.
MacFarlane, whose irreverent animated TV comedies have themselves provoked controversy, said the Arizona law was more shocking than anything he had done on television.
"It's too much. It's kind of a slap in the face, it's not the way to handle it...Nobody but the Nazis ever asked anybody for their papers," MacFarlane told Reuters Television in an interview on Thursday.
"Walking down the street, a cop can come up to you and say 'May I see your papers?' -- I think they should be required to ask that question in German if the law sticks around," he added.
Arizona's law, signed last week, allows police to stop people and ask for proof they are in the United States legally if there is any "reasonable suspicion" to the contrary. Opponents see it as a recipe for racism.
MacFarlane, who is also behind the TV series "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show," was the latest celebrity to speak out against the measure.
Colombian singer Shakira met with the mayor of Phoenix on Thursday to help campaign against the law, which she called "unjust and inhuman."
Latin singer Ricky Martin on Thursday told the audience at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Puerto Rico to "put a stop to discrimination. Put a stop to hate. Put a stop to racism...Long live love, long live peace."
Asked why he thought the Arizona law had been passed, MacFarlane said: "I don't know, people are getting crazier maybe...When I read that, I said, 'Wow, that's more shocking and egregious than anything we've ever done on the show, and it's a law.'"
MacFarlane's three TV shows have often been slammed by U.S. parents' groups for being sexually explicit. But he said humor came first for the show and its writers.
"We don't seek to shock people. We don't start writing an episode and say, 'What can we do to shock people this week?'. It really is as simple as when we're all sitting in that writers' room, what makes us laugh....It has to be funny. If it's funny, then it's OK to be shocking, but it has to be funny first," he said.
Editing by Jill Serjeant