"Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night"

Comments

1
Uh oh, he's run afoul of the Chris Brown fandom.
2
I'm sorry, is this a satirical piece about how someone can't understand humor?
3
Card carrying feminist from the 1970s here. I was aware that it was borderline and over the line sexist. And I laughed.

The only joke I didn't think was funny was the Coed/drunk producers off the cuff remark. That was the one that made me wince.

Okay. I'm not consistent.

But the sock puppet re-enactment? That was hysterical!
4
So, Davidson thinks the ceremony was sexist but right at the end of her post is a link to the "Oscar-fashion Report Card". Am I missing something here?
5
@4, nope not missing a thing.

And I still want Ricky Gervias to host the Oscars next year dressed as Hitler (he wanted to for the Golden Globes a few years back) AND have the Oscar winners drug off stage by guys dressed as stormtroopers.

Then we can all be offended.
6
We missed the opening several hours of the Oscars, only tuning in for the last hundred minutes or so, so we obviously missed the opening number.

Of what we did see, we were left with two questions,

1) Who the fuck is this guy and why is he doing the Oscars? From what we can see, he's a fucking no-personality voice actor and mediocre script writer who we hadn't actually heard of. (I guess Ted just wasn't our kind of movie, any more than the animated shows on tv he voices are our kind of shows. Not that that would have told us what he looked like.)

2) Who the fuck wrote his material? It occasionally rose to the level of sophomoric humor, but mostly it was just pretty rough stuff that missed the mark. There's nasty-funny (which only a few comic geniuses have ever excelled at) and then there's just nasty-wut. Towards the end, even he realized that his material was crap. His embarrassment at reading it wasn't even cute, though.

Will the Oscars survive this? Probably. Although it pretends to be based on its long institutional history, for the most part it's just short-attention-span theater. They'll throw in a few more sparkles next year and nobody will remember this one.
7
What did anybody expect from Seth MacFarlane? It's not that he's a shitbucket, it's that he's never made a funny joke in his life.
8
Not sure what's worse: dumb, predictable humor for MacFarlane or dumb, predictable outrage from Davidson.

Wake me up when the perpetually outraged don't have to weigh exactly what gender/racial implications are before they know just how outraged to be. If you aren't sure what angle to take offense from, you're trying too hard to take offense.
9
It was juvenile humor, which is exactly what he is known for. I laughed a lot more than I do when Billy Crystal hosts.
10
Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Amy Davidson is kind of a cunt, right?
11
I think David Letterman did a worse job at hosting, but MacFarlane wasn't what I would consider sexist (or anti-semetic according to the ADL).
12
I don't like Seth McFarlane's humor and neither do half my friends...the other half probably love him, though. Family Guy is one of the most popular shows of the last decade and Seth is the creator and costar. If you wonder why he would be given the opportunity to host you must be naive.
13
I traveled to Seattle over Thanksgiving and found the city to be lovely--if a bit wet--and ate far too many excellent meals. Too bad I didn't ask a townie what I should do while I was there; judging by Slog I missed out on the local pastime: bitching about guns, pitbulls and award shows.

I'll just have to take in the local color the next time I'm in town.
14
The LA Men's Chorus is singing a song whose lyrics are "boobs, boobs, boobs" about a straight man's reaction coming out of a movie like "Brokeback Mountain." Can someone explain to me how for the love of God a supposedly insightful New Yorker writer didn't get who was the butt, or boob, of that joke?
15
He was offputting, insulting, inadequate, too low-wattage a star for the job, he showed no respect for the losers OR the winners. And that's why he was just perfect for the role. It's the goddam stickupitsbuttest awards show we have, and he is the only host in its history ever to really, truly treat it as such.

I'm not saying people who were hurt shouldn't feel hurt. But that's not what made last night interesting, except to them.
16
Yeah, what #2 said.
17
Who are these people and why should we care?
18
The funny thing about all of this is that people have this fantasy memory that there was a time when the Oscars was a legitimately great, reverent, funny, moving, timely, entertaining affair. This forgetful goldfish mindset seems to re-emerge with slightly different complaints every single year and feels kind of like complaining about how there were so many men in tights and commercials during the Super Bowl.
19
I hear more outrageous, offensive, shocking, mysogynist, homophobic comedy every night of the week on Chelsea Lately. And laugh my ass off.

If McFarlane's exceedingly mild schtick had been funny, nobody would have minded. But the Oscars CAN'T be funny; it's not allowed. These People Are Too Important To Laugh At.
20
@18 I dunno. I kind of loved Whoopi's Oscars.
21
So the rest of the world is just now waking up the fact that Seth MacFarlane is kind of a douchebucket?*

What has always bugged me about Family Guy's popularity is that MacFarlane clearly perceives himself (and has successfully marketed himself) as an edgy provocateur, defined by his willingness to "go there", when in fact his humor is fundamentally regressive. He's just an overgrown fratboy doofus steeped to a disturbing degree in the "golden age" of the formulaic, stereotype-driven American sitcom. All that The Simpsons or Archie Bunker satirized, MacFarlane actually holds dear. He is the smarmy new face of white privilege.

*(The qualifier here, and the proof that no human being is without contradictions, is that MacFarlane is a passionate, outspoken, and genuine supporter of the gay rights movement.)
22
I don't know...I think they contextualized it well in that it wasn't technically part of MacFarlane's ACTUAL opening monologue; it was presented by future-Shatner as an example of a horrible mistake from the past, one that should not be repeated in the present. This was essentially MacFarlane's trick to have it both ways: Here's the dumb and offensive shit you thought I would do, but never mind that, because look! Dance numbers! I can be classy and old-school glamorous (sort of) also!

But you know...such nuances are lost on people determined to get their panties in twists.
23
@6, I can understand it if you've never watched "Family Guy" (I've seen less than five minutes total myself), but Seth M. makes $25 million a year from it and his other shows, plus DVD and doll, er, action figure sales and whatever else comes over the transom. He's one of the richest people in entertainment. People in Hollywood slobber over people with that kind of money all the live-long day.
24
Seth MacFarlane did something not funny? Oh wow, that's a real shocker. If you watched the last few episodes of family guy and expected to laugh you're kidding yourself, if you didn't watch the last few episodes of family guy don't waste your time, his time has passed.
25
@18: Hugh Jackman's Oscars were pretty well received by critics and the internet. The show went on too long, but the Oscars always do.
26
Fortunately, Slog readers are never exposed to irony, hyperbole, potty-mouth shock humor, sophomoric in-jokes or gratuitous boobery.
27
Another card-carrying-feminist-since before-you-were-born weighing in here:
I thought the boobs song was funny, and I laughed. So there.
Also I had no idea who Seth MacFarlane is and have never seen Family Guy, so brought no previous baggage to the event.
28
The "We saw your boobs" song was actually a vision from the future -- provided by William Shatner -- of how Seth ruined the Oscars. It was a farcical example of how important it would be for him to avoid being a classless, juvenile bore.

People really didn't get that? Was it that difficult to understand?
29
Agree with @21. The song sucked. It was demeaning, and missed at being irreverant. I wanted Hollywood to hate him, but for better material than that.
30
Did Cloud Atlas win?
31
Can't you take a joke? Yes, I can take a joke. I can take a bunch! A thousand, 10,000, maybe even more! But after 30 or so years, this stuff doesn't feel like joking.

In other words, no, you can't take a joke.
32
@28, But the song was still performed. It would have been different if it were only referenced in the Shatner bit but "cut" because it was too over-the-line. It doesn't matter how hard you wink, people who are offended by these kinds of jokes will still be offended, perhaps more so because it comes pre-packaged with a "you feminists just don't know how to take a joke!" warning label.
33
I know this will surprise some of you, but I thought the boob song was hilarious, as well the flying nun skit, hell I thought most of the jokes were funny. I can see why some people wouldn't, and I certainly think that Seth can fall flat as often as not. I'd watch Family Guy if it were the All Stewie and Brian Variety Hour, for example, but since it's not.....
Oh, and if you'd like an example of a good cunt joke, watch his duet to the losers with Kristen Chenoweth.
34
@29, exactly. McFarlane's crime was being lazy and mostly unfunny, not sexist, racist or homophobic.
35
McFarlane's a one-joke dude, all his humor is the same. What would anyone expect from him even if it was for Oscars? I'm not saying people shouldn't be offended at what McFarlane says, but they should stop acting like his offense is surprising.
36
We have to keep calling out misogynist crap even if it's "normal". The fact that so many people see nothing wrong with it is the problem.
37
i've never heard of this chick or seen a picture of her, but i'm gonna guess she's ugly.
38
What the hell, Slog? I expect better of your comment threads. MacFarlane's performance was a tepid pile of sexist, racist chestnuts that repeatedly reduced an entire profession's female contingent to their body parts and whether or not he found said body parts sexually pleasing. It was a veritable swan song of entitled asshattery -- as is much of the "how dare you expect basic thought and human decency from a popular star hosting a popular awards show" nonsense in comments above.
39
Gentlemen prefer "twat".
40
The thin veneer of tolerance is sliding off the bloat of liberal hypocrisy faster than the Spanx on an Oscar actress' waistline.

41
People still watch the Academy Awards?
42
I'm a Seth MacFarlane fan, but I knew better than to have
high hopes for how he'd be received. You could hear the knives being sharpened all last week. Seems these days you can either try to be funny at the Oscars and spend the rest of the year wiping egg off your face, or you can do it straight and be called a yawn-inducing bore.

It's when I miss Johnny Carson and Bob Hope the most.
43
@33, it was sad to me that their number was so poorly miked. Very nice, and Kristin Chenoweth my gawd those pipes.....
44
@41: God, are people still using this stupid meme ("People still...?). About a billion people worldwide watch. Whether they watch because they love it or want to skewer it, they still watch. So if anyone is irrelevant here it's you.
45
From the professionally-outraged, there's not a peep about the FLOTUS surrounded by a phalanx of soldiers. At the Academy Awards. That is, during the closing, Best Picture segment of the Academy Awards, the highest-profile awards ceremony in the arts, worldwide.

No more discussion of boobs or song parodies about the Hollywood buzzsaw until we see three paragraphs on militarism and why a high school theater troupe was the only correct choice for that shot. (Did I just say "shot"? What I meant to say was "torture" and "Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for a thousand days without trial.")
46
@6: Admitting you're so out of touch that you've never heard of Seth McFarlane only makes it clear you have nothing of interest to contribute to this conversation.

My 78-year-old mother knew who he was. (Hated him, but at least knew who he was.)
47
@43: I know right? They had a lot of trouble with anything stage left.
@45: That would be the Marine Corp honor guard. They're pretty much always there, although I do love your idea of an high school theater group being there too. That would have been cool.
48
@21 d. p.: But gays are supposed to be for women's rights, and v.v.

Does MacFarlane advocate for queers who are not men?
49
I have a general disklike for seth MacFarlane and I hate Family guy. I am impressed by his voice(s), though. But I loved the boobs song. I was waiting for a much shorter "we saw your dick" version, though.

and that crack he made about people getting the flu I do not remember being directed at females specifically, but everyone. Margaret Lyons clearly has some un-related problems of her own to be angry about.

Articles like that are what contribute to the word "feminist" now being a meaningless slur intended to apply to women who hate men and assume men hate them right back.
50
Missed the opening number (only watched about the last 2 hours), so have nothing to say about that.

But the rest of the show he was tepid at best. Neither horrible nor good. Mostly a completely forgettable performance... until the end.

I thought the closing number was just fucking mean. A slap to everyone else in the room that didn't win an Oscar. I'm sure it was meant to be funny and satirical, but it fell flat, and just came across as dickish and insulting. It was a terrible way to close the show.
51
I have a question for everyone saying that the "We saw your boobs" song was seriously sexist and meant to be taken at face value. What about the actresses who participated in the sketch via "reaction" shots? Are Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, and Naomi Watts also sexist? What about the Gay Men's Chorus of LA?
52
@51 You mean women who are surrounded by a sexist, patriarchal culture can act in sexist, patriarchal ways? Good golly!
53
I am outraged that Seth MacFarlane performed the exact same type of material that he always does.
54
any one episode of familyguy is better art than the majority of these shit movies. Argo is deep-brown shit. Moonrise kingdom or whatever its called was great. I know you dumbfucks are too dense to appreciate the finer things but I thought at least you might be able to get a grasp on network tv. Sad; our education system has failed,
55
@52 - Oh it doesn't surprise me that women surrounded by genuine sexists can behave in a sexist way. I just wondered if people thought that those specific women -- Lawrence, Theron and Watts -- were that pliable and gave that little thought to sexism. I guess I have my answer.
56
51: Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts were clearly disgusted and embarrassed by the song. I've never seen "reaction shots" that horrified (for very good reason) at an awards show.

http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment…

It's even more awful that the movie industry and particularly the Academy Awards are a notoriously white male organization. They don't even try to diversify or respect women or racial minorities except as decoration.
57
I would have also loved a We Saw Your Wang. Or at least a male We Saw Your Ass.

That would have balanced out the cries of sexism, I would think. Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Ewan MacGregor...um...

Misanthropically, though: The song also reduced men to sex-obsessed horn dogs with the mentality of 7 year olds. But, I guess that reduction is OK and unworthy of comment.
58
@56 Hate to break it to you hon, their reactions were pre-filmed. For instance, Charlize Theron was wearing a white strapless dress last night. Not a cheap-ish black thing.

They were in on it.
59
@55 You forget. Women still have no agency in a sexist misogynistic world. For instance, see Halle Berry choking down Pussy Galore.
60
@56 -- Yes, those "reactions" were very clearly pre-filmed, and the fact that someone who couldn't detect that would also be morally offended by a song called "We saw your boobs" doesn't surprise me at all.
61
60: Oooh, burn. I missed it and didn't do detective work on Charlize Theron's dress, I guess that means we can dismiss anyone who feels like it's problematic. Now it's OK to objectify world class professional women to their face as long as 2+ women kinda give their ok. Got it!

Let's just agree to have Misanthrope decide since he's the "type" to know what makes a well directed movie or host an awards show or win an award that doesn't end in "-ess". Now what's important is, who are you wearing??
62
The juvenile humor was juvenile. Oh the humanity...
63
@61 Why, yes. I am a cinephile. Thanks for noticing.

Also, thanks for participating in this week's manufactured outrage to make the Oscars more relevant than they actually are. Also, thanks especially for forming opinions based on faulty information. It makes your pearl clutching so much more important.

P.S. I hate having to defend a song that was boring and infantile at worst. And dull at best. But, idiocy is worse than boring ho-hum objectification.
64
That was about the most poorly produced and run Oscars telecast I've ever seen. It was clear that most of the presenters had never once rehearsed, and I don't know what the heck the director/producers were up to.

For example, usually when an award winner lauds to a fellow actor/crew member at great length in their acceptance speech, hell - even gesturing towards them in the audience while doing so, you'd expect the camera to turn to that audience member. So often was that ball dropped, especially with the smaller awards

And at one point, out the blue, they turned the camera on Jack Nicholson, who wasn't even slightly germaine to the situation, and even his expression said, "What the fuck are you amateurs doing?"

That said, the sock-puppet Flight skit was priceless.
65
Yet, Showgirls or Centerfolds or whatevs is Quality Entertainment worth paying David Schmader / The Stranger Ticketing $$$ for.

Ah, I see.
66
And what Gloomy Gus said. Y'all need to stop being offended for a sec or 2.
67
Someone somewhere up this thread said something like this, but it's always good policy to make sure you understand who's being made fun of before you work yourself into a towering rage. Of course, it's easier to just go with your preloaded rant without doing any painful braining in the matter.
68
@61 -- You didn't have to be a dress detective to realize that those were very obviously staged comedic "reactions", or to understand that the entire bit had been pre-recorded. That was the whole premise. It was a flash-forward to the future. Gah, this is too ridiculous to keep arguing about.
69
Rare though it be that the Misanthrope and I agree, I too would have liked to have seen a We Saw your Dick song. Although it would have been a lot shorter, since there is an unfortunate dearth of girth in American Cinema. Maybe they could have combined the two and called the song We Saw Your Bits? Maybe next year.
70
@69 I hope next year, we get female hosts who sing We Saw Your Dick. Are there all-female choruses? I only hear about men's choruses.
71
@70 - Except the song would be pretty short.

I was in a roomful of middle-aged women laughing at Seth's antics.

When Whoopie Goldberg hosted, after appearing as Elizabeth I, in full makeup, remarked in the next segment, while still trying to get the white makeup off-"Who know it would be so hard getting a virgin of your face." I knew I had herd the funniest joke that will ever be told by an Oscar host. It still stands.
72
I already loathe the Seth MacFarlane animation empire and think his sense of humor has a pervasive but unmistakable whiff of underlying misogyny, so I can't say I was surprised by any of his jokes. But I think some of you are being way too easy on the boobs song. Yes, he lampshaded it with the "from the future" framing, but that's really just a cheap way of deflecting criticism.

Oh, look! See, I know this is offensive! Therefore it isn't!

It's a pretty sad attempt to make being a jerk seem like satire. But then, I already know I think he's incapable of genuine satire, so...
73
And during the song, they cut to the women mentioned, just to show how they aren't laughing. They're not in on the joke. They're not pleased that their boobs made the men feel "happy and alive." And that's part of the joke: this wasn't a present from women to men; it was a nasty trick.

Instead of "We Saw Your Boobs," I heard, "Remember how you thought you were real artists and that being topless because your character would be was legitimate and serious and authentic? FOOLED YOU, YOU STUPID C---S!!"
74
Watching this for the first time, I honestly didn't think the point of the song was to subjugate women. I took it as Seth MacFarlane making a buffoon of himself. He's surrounded by all these talented, elegant actresses, and he's just completely fixated by boobs. He watched all the films listed in his song and was only able to focus on the boobs. He's like a silly, boob-obsessed little boy. I saw Seth, not the women, as the butt of the joke.

75
The blame lies largely with the Academy itself, I think. Seth MacFarlane has built almost his entire career on the practice of ridiculing everything he sees in the most offensive way he can possibly get away with. He told the jokes, but it was the Academy that gave him a stage and a microphone. He sang the Boobs song, but it was the Academy which saw to it that it was broadcast to an audience of millions.

If the Academy had asked Robin Williams to host the Oscars, they would be sending the message that they wanted their host to do lots of celebrity impressions. If they'd asked Weird Al Yankovic, they'd be saying that they wanted to see him perform parody songs. Seth MacFarlane is well-known for his misogynist, racist, offensive style of humor. By asking him to host, the Academy was sending the message that this was the kind of awards show they wanted. All Seth did was give them exactly that.
76
@74: Funny you mention that, because to me, the song just celebrated how it felt to be a middle school aged boy and get your hands on a movie with some boobies in it.

The joy, the suspense, the amazing release of seeing an illicit breast. It is strictly the exhilaration of the pre-adolescent male, unconcerned with anything but the parts themselves.

The men in the room know what I am talking about.
77
Nobody is even talking about how offensive it was that 'Argo" took home best picture?!!!!
78
Yes this is totally disgusting and I have always felt reluctant about McFarlane's humor. Probably because so much of it is low-brow dumbass shit

Well this is an embarrassment to straight men everywhere. And totally classless. How in the hell did this fly? I feel as shitty about this as I do when Louis CK declares that all straight men are insanely perverted (just because he is)
79
american dad is ok