On the defensive over the offensive

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The new Fox sitcom “Dads”-- co-produced by Seth MacFarlane -- seems pretty straightforward: two 30-something Peter Pan-types (Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green) must cope with the challenges of having their sometimes pain-in-the-neck fathers (Martin Mull and Peter Riegert) reenter their lives in a significant way. Hilarity ensues. Except in this case, some of the critics who’ve seen the pilot aren’t laughing. When the stars and some of the show’s producers-- including “Simpsons” alum Mike Scully and “Family Guy” producers Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin-- met with reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour recently, they fielded several questions focused on jokes in the pilot about race and gender. Here are few excerpts from the discussion.

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