Once, the Academy Awards were a truly national event – a time when many families (including children) gathered in front of the TV to watch Hollywood’s best and brightest receive well-deserved accolades for providing quality entertainment. Sadly, for well over a decade (and likely longer), those days have been gone. Today, the Motion Picture Academy apparently delights in nominating movies that only a tiny minority of the American public has seen; many of the films now nominated contain content wholly inappropriate for children (reflected in this year’s Oscars telecast being rated TV-14 DLV – meaning ABC itself realizes no pre-teen should be watching); and reflecting a general decline in cultural standards, few stars today have the grace and polish of those in the past.
But the final nail in the coffin of the Oscars as a family event was brutally slammed home this year, when the event’s producers decided to target 18-34 year old males (a demographic not widely known for caring about fancy dresses, cinematic artistry, or cultural polish). In order to appeal to Hollywood’s favored frat-boy viewership, the producers selected as host a man whose entire career has been devoted to being insulting, crude, and tasteless – and who was guaranteed to bring such qualities to his performance:
In the course of his performance, MacFarlane managed to insult women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Catholics, and eating disorder and domestic abuse victims – and still found time to sexualize a nine-year-old girl. All of which offers some hint as to why the February 24th broadcast of the 85th Annual Academy Awards on ABC (8:00 p.m. ET) deserves recognition for being the Worst TV Show of the Week.
Since last Sunday, many writers at various media outlets and publications have lamented the blatant misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism in Seth MacFarlane’s performance as host of Sunday night’s Oscars telecast. Everyone from the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the California Legislative Women’s Caucus slammed MacFarlane’s bigotry.
But the only real surprise is that people were surprised. Seth MacFarlane is, after all, the creator/writer/producer/star of the gory, bigoted, and ultra-raunchy cartoons Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show, which air on Fox every Sunday night – and some of which have done so for over a decade. In that time, MacFarlane’s shows have subjected the American public – including millions of children – to such unsavory scenes as mocking people with Down syndrome, sexualizing women and implying pedophilia, a man masturbating a horse, a baby eating horse sperm, or a character eating vomit and excrement out of a baby’s diaper. Times nearly without number, MacFarlane’s programs have been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
Thus, the content of MacFarlane’s Oscar broadcast was entirely in keeping with his established school of “comedy.” Among other foul content, viewers of the telecast were exposed to:
- Seth MacFarlane singing about women exposing their breasts in movies: “We saw your boobs, we saw your boobs. In that movie that we saw, we saw your boobs. Meryl Streep we saw your boobs in Silkwood, Naomi Watts in Mulhullond Drive. Angelina Jolie we saw your boobs in Gia, it made us feel excited and alive. Anne Hathaway, we saw your boobs in Brokeback Mountain. Halle Barry, we saw them in Monster’s Ball . Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut, Marisa Tomei in the Rest of the Month, Jennifer Lawrence we haven’t seen your boobs at all. We saw your boobs, we saw your boobs. In that movie that we saw, we saw your boobs. Kristin Stewart we saw your boobs in On the Road, and in Monster we saw Charlize Theron’s. Helen Hunt we saw them in The Sessions. Scarlett Johanssen, we saw them on our phones! Jessica Chastain we saw your boobs in Lawless, Jodie Foster in The Accused. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, Penelope Cruz inVanilla Sky, and Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures and Jude and Hamlet and Titanic and Iris and Little Children and The Reader and whatever you’re filming right now. We saw your boobs. We saw your boobs.”
- MacFarlane calling actress Jennifer Aniston “a former exotic dancer.”
- MacFarlane further sexualizing women (and mocking eating disorders in the bargain) by making fat jokes about singer Adele and actress Melissa McCarthy, and remarking, “For all those women who gave yourselves ‘the flu’ two weeks ago to ‘get there’? It paid off. Lookin’ good.” (Because apparently, to Seth MacFarlane, the only thing women are good for is “lookin’ good.”)
- MacFarlane also sneering at African-Americans and making a joke out of slavery, first pretending he couldn’t tell Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy apart, then smirking, “If you bumped into Don Cheadle in the studio lot, would you try and free him?”
- MacFarlane’s remarked of Hispanic actors, “We’ve reached that point where Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz takes the stage and we have no idea what they’re saying but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.”
- MarFarlane also claimed that nuns are “so ridiculously hot” because they are “forbidden fruit.”
- MacFarlane complained that Jews control Hollywood, voicing his puppet bear character Ted saying, “”I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever,”
- MacFarlane made light of domestic violence victims: “’Django’ is a movie where a woman is subjected to violence. Or as we call it, a Chris Brown and Rihanna date movie.”
- And picking up on the theme of laughing at child molestation which runs through his Sunday-night cartoons, MacFarlane remarked of nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis: “To give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be 16 years until she’s too old for Clooney.”
- MacFarlane even attempted to find “humor” in presidential assassination. Commenting on Daniel Day-Lewis’ “method” performance in Lincoln, MacFarlane sneered, “I would argue that the actor who got most inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth”
For dumping this content on millions of Americans, Seth MacFarlane’s hosting of the 85th Annual Academy Awards is the Worst TV Show of the Week.
JC Penney sponsored this program. To contact them with your concerns, click here.
If you were offended by Seth MacFarlane’s offensive performance at the Oscars…and if you’re sickened at the thought of millions of children being exposed to such content every week…we invite YOU to join the PTC in petitioning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to NEVER have Seth MacFarlane host its awards show again.
To sign the petition, click here.