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On MacFarlane and the Oscars – Should I have been offended?

February 25, 2013

oscars-seth-macfarlane_510x411The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was in a bind. The ratings for the Academy Awards telecast have been going down for years. Most people chalked that up to a show that reveled in an old-Hollywood environment that younger viewers had no desire to engage. They had tried to rectify this in the past by bringing in the youthful team of Anne Hathaway and James Franco two years ago. Unfortunately  they forgot to stipulate in Mr. Franco’s contract that he had to actually care when he showed up, and that performance was a bomb. They over-corrected last year by bringing in Billy Crystal, whose face seems to have been worked over no less than 20 times by plastic surgeons, and whose act seems about as timely as a “Take my wife, please!” joke. The “youth block” yawned and changed the channel.

So the Academy decided to take a pretty dramatic turn for this years show by selecting Seth MacFarlane to host. Seth MacFarlane was pretty hot at that moment the decision was announced, having just finished making a half a billion dollars worldwide for ‘Ted’ (you read that right, over $500,000,000), as well as having just wrapped a very well-received hosting gig on ‘Saturday Night Live’. The real, key, though, is that because of his most famous product, ‘Family Guy’, MacFarlane would be a host that would directly tap the 18-34 demo that the Oscars just could not get their hands around.

That’s not to say that MacFarlane was a safe or easy choice by any means. His resume was ‘Family Guy’, ‘Ted’, and . . . well, that’s pretty much it. (I’m wrapping all of his Fox animated shows under the ‘Family Guy’ banner). His short resume is combined with the type of humor that is directly associated with ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Ted’, which is to say NOT Billy Crystal’s style of humor. ‘Family Guy’ is known for pushing the boundaries on all levels, and so there was quite a fear of just how far MacFarlane might go. This was combined with a large number of people who simply associated MacFarlane with the humor of his shows, and were going to bring in a lot of preconceived baggage about the host before the show even started.

Based on all of the reviews since then, I’d say that this is exactly what happened. USA Today said, “Awash in self-indulgence, neither he nor his 3-hour-and-35-minute show ever seemed to hit a comfortable, confident stride . . . .” On the other hand, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Showing considerable poise, MacFarlane . . . opened with a series of jokes that were bona fide winners, landing on just the right tone: confident but not cocksure.” In the middle was The New York Times, much more critical of the overall pace and music selection of the show than Mr. MacFarlane, wrote, “Mr. MacFarlane didn’t ruin the show. But the show almost ruined the Oscars.”

So the responses turned out to be pretty much exactly what MacFarlane was already prepared for, and I as well. He was as polarizing in reviews as he was coming into the show to begin with, so no real shock. However, as I began reading real-time reviews last night, another theme started popping up, one that I was a little more taken aback by – this show was amazingly sexist?

The Sexisim/Racisim Blind Spot

The Atlantic was the first publication to really give a full-throated thrashing of the show, with an article published almost before the show was even over, titled, “The Banality of Seth MacFarlane’s Sexism and Racism at the Oscars.” This was followed fairly soon after by this Buzzfeed post: “9 Sexist Things That Happened at The Oscars.” I found both of these articles immediately confusing, because at no point during the show’s telecast was I struck by the thought that anything I had seen was sexist. I also didn’t find it particularly racist, though his use of race in “Django” and “Lincoln” related jokes, I could at least see where that allegation could come from. The sexism charge, though, had me truly confused.

For full disclosure, I am a white, 30-year-old male who was raised in a pretty Conservative (the big C mean’s I’m talking about politically) household. I grew up in a Conservative environment, and in all honesty, never really lived in any environment that could be considered mildly liberal until I moved to the Bay Area this past June. I say all of this to acknowledge that I would be the first to admit that there can be times when I have a “blind spot” to certain sexist/racist issues. It’s a “blind spot” much in the same way a car’s blind spot work. It’s not that I can never see it or even don’t want to, but sometimes I have to take a second look and really pay attention before I see where an offended party might be coming from with their allegation.

So it’s with that disclosure in mind that I decided to take a serious look at the allegations against the show and MacFarlane. I reviewed all nine of the item’s on Buzzfeeds list. After a serious, careful consideration, my conclusion? I still don’t see it. The “Boobs” song was purposefully sexist in a meta-way, and the actress reactions were all pre-taped, illustrating that they were more than game for the joke. The Quvenzhane Wallis/Clooney joke was a joke about Clooney liking to date young women. The Chris Brown joke doesn’t offend me because CHRIS BROWN IS AWFUL AND DOESN’T DESERVE TO BE LEFT ALONE ABOUT SAVAGELY BEATING RIHANNA. The Anniston/Tatum joke was only calling her a possible stripper in as much as it was reminding us all that Tatum was once a stripper. That joke would have worked as well if he’d had a male co-presenter instead of Anniston. The dieting joke was really no different than every other “ladies trying to fit in Oscar dresses” jokes that have been made for the last 84 years of the show. The Kardashians joke wasn’t about women, it was about the Kardashians. Is anyone really in a mood to come to their defense? The Nicholson joke allegation is simply about the fact that Nicholson is known to be a scoundrel. The Salma Hayek joke might have been sexist if the setup didn’t also include Javier Bardem, who I’m pretty sure is not a women.

So of the 9 jokes that Buzzfeed labeled as sexist, the only one I’d probably give a slight nod to is the Chastain/’Zero Dark Thirty’ joke, because, well, yeah, that was just a joke about women. With all of that said, though, again, I’m fully admitting that I can have a blind-spot on these issues. However, I’ve already begun asking some women who are colleagues and former classmates, and so far, I’m not finding many people defending the “sexist” allegations. I’d also note that two of the writers who wrote the more positive reviews that I linked to earlier were women. If you were offended by these jokes, though, please feel free to describe it below in the comments. I will not argue with you about it or try to talk you out of your perception of the show/jokes; I truly want to see and understand where other people who might have been offended are coming from regarding these jokes.

Final Review

So with ALL of that said, what was my opinion of the show? As you may imagine, I really enjoyed it. Aside from the fact that MacFarlane is my new-school doppleganger (Donny Osmond my old-school one), I thought he brought to the table just the right mix of edginess combined with respect for old-school Hollywood. This shouldn’t be surprising, as this is a guy with a love for 50′s and 60′s era Hollywood (he put out an album of old standards in 2011, ‘Music Is Better Than Words’, that was nominated for 2 Grammys). He regularly holds large galas at his Hollywood home and brings in Big Band orchestras.

The style of joke delivery that USA Today and other described as “awkward” and “nervous” was anything but that; being somewhat bashful/playful with the delivery of a heart-spearing joke is his style. Hell, it’s really the comedic style of my entire generation. We like to give over-the-line jokes because we want to push the edge, but we want to signal that it’s a joke through our body language because we’re really not a mean or hateful generation (if anything, we’re one of the most open, loving, and respectful generations), and MacFarlane’s comedic style is the essence of that. Every interview he’s ever given has shown him to be a genuinely kind and likable person. Most people looked to the ‘Saturday Night Live’ gig as a preview of what to expect, but I thought the better indicators were his performances as host of the Comedy Central Roasts of David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump, and Charlie Sheen. What’s funny about those performances was that they made my wife, who HATES ‘Family Guy’, somewhat develop a crush on Mr. MacFarlane and the charming way he twists the verbal knife.

They won’t have him back I bet, but I appreciate the Academy giving him the stage last night, and I enjoyed what he did with it.

Thoughts at the Closing Bell:

  • So while I have obviously defended MacFarlane, I will NOT be defending The Onion after their move last night regarding Quvenzhane Wallis. I mean . . . yikes. I’m a habitual line-stepper, and that’s a bridge too far even for me. 
  • All signs point to Sequestration happening, folks. Did you enjoy the recession in 2009? Because we might be saddling up for seconds.
  • Spring Training has started! I listened to a Spring Training game on the radio yesterday, and my life already feels brighter and happier. BASEBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. (Awww, but ain’t that America!)
  • So let me just acknowledge that, yes, it’s been 100 years since I last wrote a post. Actually, it’s been almost 3 months, which is one of my longest streaks since law school killed my blogging for awhile. I can’t say for sure what’s kept me from writing. I will say that some of the blame, though, lies with Twitter and Facebook. When I first started blogging after I graduated from college and moved 1000 miles away from home, blogging was my way to keep family and friends updated and connected. Now, though, I often find myself starting to write a post, only to think, “Huh, I kinda already talked about that on Twitter and Facebook.” I will say that I started and stopped gun-control posts at least three times, each time stopping and going, “Ughhh, I just don’t want to go here.”

That’s all for now, kids. One love to you all.

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173 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2013 1:49 pm

    if anything, i’d say seth was far tamer than i expected. and i was blown away (i did miss a small section) that he didn’t do all of his family guy voices (though he did do ted, but at least it was actually ted and not him just standing there doing the ted voice). for that i am happy.

    • February 25, 2013 2:17 pm

      Agreed, I was expecting him to push the envelope much harder than he did. Like I said, I thought he found a solid balance.

  2. Joshua Buckley permalink
    February 25, 2013 1:55 pm

    I think nearly everyone went in having already judged MacFarlane’s performance, especially the people that aren’t fans. Personally, I only watched cause I am a big fan of his, and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I agree with Casey that I was hoping for more voices, but then again, he’s shown that he doesn’t want to be known just as that.

    I thought it was a solid job with a lot of jokes that made me laugh out loud. I’d give him a B+ overall, losing points for that last musical number.

    • February 25, 2013 1:59 pm

      i was saying that i’m actually glad he didn’t do his voices. every time he’s on a talk show, that seems to be all he has to offer. it was nice to just hear jokes. and, yes, the final musical number was horrid.

      • February 25, 2013 2:18 pm

        I agree with Casey, I was happy he didn’t go to the Family Guy well, just because I know he has so much more he could bring to the table. If he had done one of the voices, that would have been just one more log on the critic’s fire (“that’s all he’s got!”)

  3. Kelley permalink
    February 25, 2013 2:19 pm

    I enjoyed Seth McF last night- I even told Chris–”he looks like Andy Heaton! Gotta watch him!”

    I’m not blogging as much these days, not twittering as much either…trying to put my damn phone down and cuddle my kids.

    • February 25, 2013 2:22 pm

      Yeah, I think mine has been, “I know I have shit to do, and if I write a blog, that’s time I’m not doing what I should be doing.” Oh, and I guess paying attention to my daughter too, sorta.

  4. February 26, 2013 12:07 pm

    I think Seth made a good host. Was he the right host for the Oscars? I’m not really sure….It depends on who (the audience) the Oscars want to attract. I also didn’t find Seth’s jokes racist or sexist and I am a woman! I did find it a bit crude and childish at times, but then again it’s Seth McFarlene so I wasn’t surprised! :D Congrats on being FP!

    • February 26, 2013 12:09 pm

      Thanks for the comment! I agree, Oscars was possibly the wrong venue his style. Drunken Golden Globes? Maybe.

      • February 27, 2013 11:53 am

        Agree with this. I definitely think most of the aforementioned jokes were totally in poor taste. I also think there were sexist and racist. Though, being familiar with McFarland’s social-commentary-style in his TV shows, I wasn’t necessarily offended. I just think it was a poor choice by the Academy, especially after the awkwardness of Franco/Hathaway last year. Have we really run out of charming, classy stars?

      • February 27, 2013 12:02 pm

        Well, now a key to remember here is that Franco/Hathaway was two years ago. They tried going back to classy with Crystal last year, and they did like the ratings they saw for that effort either. I think they’re attacking the wrong problem, though. They think the ratings are tied to the host. It is to a degree, but it’s also tied to the overall show’s production.

      • February 27, 2013 12:06 pm

        Oh yeh! I forgot that they tried Billy Crystal again! That was pretty tired. There is probably a fine balance. Let’s hope they get it right next year… or maybe they’ll ask Dane Cook to host. Haha :)

  5. February 26, 2013 12:13 pm

    Reblogged this on From Slacker To Scribe and commented:
    FREAKING LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!

  6. February 26, 2013 12:18 pm

    I think there were more comments about Anne Hathaway and her nipples than MacFarlane. People . . .Darts . . . her dress showed poorly made darts, not her nipples.

    • February 26, 2013 12:42 pm

      OMG yes that’s what I’ve been telling people around me for a day and a half!!! But, even if it actually was her nipples… so what?

      • February 26, 2013 12:49 pm

        Ha, what’s so funny, I didn’t even notice her nipples and the whole Nipple thing came out of nowhere to me.

  7. February 26, 2013 12:33 pm

    Great post! I think many expected him to be offensive and went in with their minds made up. it’s always interesting to compare “internet” vs. “real life”, as everyone I’ve talked to in-person loved him and thought he did a great job, whereas many in online commentsections and in the media is slamming him.

    I did not think “We Saw Your Boobs” was funny at all, but I wasn’t offended. It blew me away how many people thought the actresses reactions were live. The dresses and hair were all all different! I thought the Jessica Chastain/Zero Dark Thirty joke was hilarious. The Oscars knew exactly what they were getting with his type of humor. I was surprised by how tame he was, honestly. I was also very surprised by his beautiful singing voice!

    • February 26, 2013 1:20 pm

      Caitlyn, you should check out his 2011 album “Music is better than words”. If you like Rat Pack style music, it’s terrific.

  8. February 26, 2013 12:34 pm

    Bring back Ricky Gervais. He’s the only one who has the guts to cut to the core of that room full of egocentric misfits. Enjoyed the post, and I was also hoping MacFarlane would be more edgy funny than comfortably silly.

    • February 26, 2013 12:48 pm

      I think the Oscars basically said, “Be risky, but please don’t be Ricky”. Like I commented elsewhere, I think if this were the Globes, Seth goes further.

      • February 26, 2013 2:51 pm

        You’re probably right. Just seems now that the “hip” generation is in the spotlight, the show would be a little more relaxed and “hip.” Seth drew the audience, but I was looking more for the Comedy Central Roast Seth. Great post.

  9. February 26, 2013 12:53 pm

    I thought he behaved a lot hehe I was expecting him to be much more daring with his jokes. Even still, I think he did a fantastic job.

    I never watch the entire ceremony, this is the second time I did because I enjoyed the relaxed tone of it. Even though I didn’t find absolutely every joke funny (which I think is hard for a comedian to get every joke right, probably even impossible), I never felt that sort of awkward embarrassment that makes you change the channel. McFarlane and Hugh Jackman, the only Oscars I’ve actually watched.

    I also appreciated the Jaws theme to shut people off instead of the cheesy Oscar music because we all know what that music means anyway so they might as well make it fun. Also because being a show that celebrates films, I never understood why they had to use random elevator music instead of Music Soundtracks!

    • February 26, 2013 12:57 pm

      I agree, I felt that it had a fun and loose feeling that is usually associated with the Globes.

  10. February 26, 2013 12:57 pm

    Thanks for exploring the issue. I think sexism is a rampant aspect of our culture, and it holds everyone back, not just women. Challenging yourself to expand your media literacy (i.e., what are people telling me here?) is a great way to contribute meaningfully to a better future.

    That said, I’d like to give you a little push back, at the very least on this statement, “The dieting joke was really no different than every other “ladies trying to fit in Oscar dresses” jokes that have been made for the last 84 years of the show.”

    Yep. People have been saying stupid crap like that for a long time. Does it make it right? Nope. In fact, it makes it worse for me. Pressuring women to adhere to an unrealistic ideal, to never show aging in the slightest, and to feel like their highest value lies in how they look is damaging, insulting, and—frankly—tired. Let’s raise the bar a little, shall we?

  11. February 26, 2013 1:15 pm

    McFarlane doesn’t get near enough credit for being as intelligent and talented as he really is. There are people in this world who look for the worst in anything and can find rascism or sexism in anything they see. These sorts of “hard core” extremists are the types who keep mainstream Americans from being able to back their causes 100%, in my opinion.

    Sometimes a boob joke is just about boobs and nothing else.

    • February 26, 2013 1:18 pm

      You’re not wrong

    • Bridget permalink
      February 26, 2013 1:56 pm

      I know I’m British and all that, but I still don’t get why, if a joke is just about “boobs”, it’s funny Are “boobs” funny in America? I know Benny Hill is, so maybe y’all see things differently from us. BTW they are breasts.

      • February 26, 2013 2:03 pm

        Bridget, the song on an island by itself wouldn’t have been funny, it was funnier because of the context, setup, and the fact that it tackled head-on the preconceived notions about MacFarlane that so many had coming into the night that he was nothing but a potty humorist.

        And I don’t think fascination with boobs, or breasts, is uniquely American by any means. As you mentioned, Benny Hill. See also, The Sun’s Page 3 (though I commend the on-going efforts to see it lose it’s place in the paper)

      • February 27, 2013 7:49 am

        I agree Bridget, I find it completely bizarre, I can’t understand how intelligent people can find that funny, and a song about “boobs” IS potty humour so MacFarlane hardly tackled preconceived notions.
        Benny Hills’ humour is antiquated and The Sun displaying the breasts of 18 year olds is hardly supposed to be funny…

      • February 27, 2013 11:33 am

        erinorange, I wasn’t implying that Page 3 is supposed to be funny, just that a cultural fixation on breasts is by no means a unique American trait.

      • February 27, 2013 11:57 am

        Andrew, if that’s the case, you hardly answered Bridget’s question as you haven’t pointed out any cases in Britain where ‘boobs’ are funny, yes the exploitation of women is international, but why so funny in America? Must just be different sense of humour.

      • February 27, 2013 12:03 pm

        This is just one example from the 2001 British Comedy Awards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-KKMdLdL7E

      • February 27, 2013 12:08 pm

        Here’s another example, in an article from the Huffington Post UK edition: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rebecca-hobbs/vous-les-boobies_b_1203929.html

        Quote: “We British know boobs are funny . . . “

      • February 27, 2013 12:53 pm

        Wow thanks for these – I feel really proved wrong! I imagine Stephen fry will be doing a comedy sketch on the hilarity of the female naked body at the Baftas next year.

      • February 27, 2013 1:00 pm

        Hmmm, I can’t help but sense the sarcasm. Look, I’m really not try to argue about it or “prove you wrong”, but when you say that my previous comments didn’t refute the claim that breast humor is uniquely American, I simply pointed to two quick pieces on found on a simple Google search that seem to refute that assumption. I’m simply doing it for the pride of country and crown (we don’t have a crown, but let’s just pretend the president gets to wear a crown).

      • February 27, 2013 1:06 pm

        That’s fair enough I can see how you would be offended, but I really don’t understand how people can like such a man who can be so degrading about woman – imagine if one of your female relatives was a great actress and the host of the Oscars, instead of pointing out their great achievements, recalled the occasions on which he had seen their breasts – I just despair. On behalf of humankind, Americans, as well as British, have a part to play in stamping out this degradation veiled as comedy. Although you, and a lot of commentators, don’t think this is a problem, which is worrying.

      • February 27, 2013 1:11 pm

        First, I feel sorry if Bridget is getting every reply we’re posting. Secondly, like I said, my whole point was this post was to receive comments and feedback such as yours. Did I see anything wrong with the statements at the time? No. Do your comments help me relate more to your viewpoint? Absolutley. Could they be helpful to avoiding the blind spot in the future? You never know. And that’s why I wanted the dialogue in the first place. Thank you for your comments.

      • Bridget permalink
        February 27, 2013 3:54 pm

        Thankyou Andrew. It has been enlightening. Transferring SMcF from 2D animation to 3D humanation was always going to be challenging. Somehow the sexist humour a la Peter Griffin just didn’t seem funny with all those people there seeking some kind of recognition/validation for their serious work. I wonder who the Oscars’ organisers will try next in their quest to find a universally acceptable host. All the best :)

      • February 27, 2013 4:53 pm

        I think they put the full-court press on Pohler and Fey

  12. February 26, 2013 1:16 pm

    Great piece. I’m still amazed at how many people just didn’t understand how to read the opening bit with Shatner. The “Boobs” song was tasteless and sexist? Yeah, that was kind of the point. The other “sexist” jokes were made at the expense of long-standing Hollywood values (which are indeed sexist). But that does not make the jokes themselves sexist. As Kathryn Bigelow would say, “depiction is not endorsement.” A good comedian will magnify the problems of our society so that we can laugh at the absurdity of them and then talk about them. To be sure, we’re all talking about sexism now. But why are we attacking the messenger and not the institutions that he was mocking?

    • February 26, 2013 1:18 pm

      Some solid points, Art!

    • February 26, 2013 3:25 pm

      Art: Your post is one of the more enlightened, but not sure how you can fit in the middle of all of it that “all of this does not make the jokes themselves sexist.” I see a lot of women saying they can wear whatever they want, including nothing, that they should not have to feel hindered. So, people did actually see their boobs, but all those guys dancing around like 12-year-olds in tuxes was also part of the problem to me — suggesting that it’s a game or that they really get something that they can “brag about” when they get to ogle women’s bodies. I have been trying to “understand comedy” and it seems to be that it can be really harmful & hurtful if not done well. Your last comment is something everyone should be considering.

      • February 26, 2013 3:36 pm

        Thank you. I was trying to make a cautious analysis, as I can’t be certain that my interpretation is definitely the right one. Like you, I am also trying to understand comedy. You’re right that it can be harmful and hurtful if not done well (heck, even if it is done well). I just read the following essay and found it helpful:

        http://badassdigest.com/2013/02/26/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-the-context-of-comedy/

      • February 26, 2013 8:23 pm

        Thank you for sharing the link. I think the outrage is needed and I think the review of the intention is needed, otherwise people who don’t understand don’t have the opportunity to learn and grow. Whether they will is another question…

  13. February 26, 2013 1:16 pm

    I agree. I thought Seth was tamer than I thought he was going to be. I did love the fact that they had many musical numbers on the show. i love musicals. I also cannot believe what The Onion said about that little girl. So sad.

  14. February 26, 2013 1:55 pm

    you kno the fact that we all have many platforms today to express our opinion becomes one of the most important reason that everything is so minutely analyzed, otherwise earlier the only option left with us was to remember the parts that you loved the most and forget the part that didn’t suit us. so whatever you do, it will be dissected by someone sitting somewhere, that is the bad part ..and the good part; you need to put in a lot to stand the test ! you can say that seth might not have done a bad job, jokes might not be boring or as crude as it is made to be …but night of oscars is meant for the winners, their speeches, their joys…seth is just a connecting factor between the presenters and the winners !

  15. February 26, 2013 1:55 pm

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your review and your style of writing. Though I will tell you I’m a die hard Billy Crystal fan, so will have to admit I missed him at the Oscars this year.

    Your review was right on point. However, I do think they were misogynistic comments, but I cannot blame him for it entirely. All the actresses were in on it as you said, and they are the top actresses by the way. They played a huge role in that part of the show. So a bit dumbfounded he gets all the blame.

    • February 26, 2013 2:00 pm

      Thank you! I think you have a point, and I can’t disagree that their is a baseline misogynistic element, but I don’t believe it’s antagonistic in nature, but more highlighting what the perception to him was going to be in the first place.

      I checked out your blog as well, really good stuff!

    • February 26, 2013 2:07 pm

      soulconalas the problem here is that billy crystal took his own time to mature into a brilliant host at the oscars and now the generation we belong to want everything right in the first go itself, so if we all go on against seth he wont ever get his chance to rectify himself which probably a billy crysal had !

      • February 26, 2013 2:22 pm

        I didn’t see it that way. You have a very good point and I agree with you. I don’t doubt that Seth was perhaps nervous, though he didn’t show it. And yes, he definitely deserves a fair chance.

        Thank you for giving me a different perspective.

      • February 26, 2013 2:29 pm

        Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll have a chance to “mature” in the role, since he already said on Twitter he doesn’t really have a desire to host again. Since he’s sitting on about a billion dollars right now, can’t say I blame him.

  16. February 26, 2013 1:58 pm

    Honestly, I think he was successful in the show because he made fun of himself first. How he would be “worst host ever” etc. That’s why he was able to poke fun at the rest of the actors and actresses, because he did it to himself first.

    And I really didn’t think it was sexist, though the flu joke could have been left out because young girls might think they should do that to look pretty.

    • February 26, 2013 2:07 pm

      Thank’s for the comment! And yes, as long as footage of Franco’s performance exists, he’s got “Worst Ever” on lockdown.

  17. Melissa permalink
    February 26, 2013 2:08 pm

    Reblogged this on made in the eighties and commented:
    This is sort of where I stand on the whole issue. As I’ve been reading my twitter TL, I see people going on and on about how sexist it was. I personally wasn’t offended by anything Seth said. Full Disclosure: I have no feelings on Seth MacFarlane in any capacity regarding his talent, humor, TV shows, etc. So I went in with a clean slate.

  18. February 26, 2013 3:02 pm

    I’m not a fan of Seth’s work, especially his shows on Fox, but with the exception of the Lincoln/Booth joke I felt he handled himself pretty well. He walked a very thin line at times, but I never felt like he fell off the edge. Do I want to see him host again? No; but was he a flop? No — he was more behaved than I feared he would, and several of his jokes were well done.

  19. February 26, 2013 3:22 pm

    I thought Seth was a fantastic host. He’s talented, smart, quick, transparent, and hilarious. The show was entertaining and it appeared to be well planned out. There were some long moments (like the opening act), but overall it was great.

    • February 26, 2013 4:22 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Lauren. I think we could all agree the time issue has to be tackled somehow.

  20. February 26, 2013 3:25 pm

    Here is my response to Seth MacFarlane’s so-called “offensive” jokes: http://littlebluesuitcase.com/2013/02/26/in-seth-macfarlanes-defense/ – I agree with everything you wrote. I grew up around the area Seth MacFarlane is from, and many people from where I’m from also possess the caustic, yet self-effacing sense of humor that MacFarlane possesses. I don’t think he meant any harm.

    • February 26, 2013 4:25 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Lisa, and your post was great. While not from New England, I share similar comedic sensibilities that you wrote on and I suppose that’s why I’m pro-MacFarlane.

      • February 26, 2013 4:27 pm

        Thanks Andrew! I agree that it is a generational thing as well, like you said in your post.

  21. February 26, 2013 3:28 pm

    Art: Your post is one of the more enlightened, but not sure how you can fit in the middle of all of this that “all of this does not make the jokes themselves sexist.” I see a lot of women saying they can wear whatever they want, including nothing, that they should not have to feel hindered. So, people did actually see their boobs, but all those guys dancing around like 12-year-olds in tuxes was also part of the problem to me — suggesting that it’s a game or that they really get something that they can “brag about” when they get to ogle women’s bodies. I have been trying to “understand comedy” and it seems to be that it can be really harmful & hurtful if not done well. Your last comment is something everyone should be considering.

  22. February 26, 2013 3:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Brittaj17's Blog and commented:
    Interesting perspective…

  23. February 26, 2013 3:44 pm

    Very well written blog….and no I am not offended on any level. There have been far worse mentions and let’s face it…this is the dude who created Family Guy and Ted. His humor is well-known so this is nothing new. Either you love him or hate him. I happen to enjoy is politically incorrect humor…I am sick of everyone being so cautious with their words. We are in America for goodness sakes!

  24. February 26, 2013 4:09 pm

    Thnx for this. My husband wishes I liked “Family Guy” but he understands why I don’t and doesn’t force me to watch it. I loved the Sinatra soft shoe bits and certain parts of it, and I thought it was awesome how a lot of those women DID NOT like the Boob song but Jennifer Lawrence was like “YES! HAHA NO ONE has seen mine!” But it’s SETH – “TED”&”FAMILY GUY” SETH, so get over it. You had to know it was coming people!

    • February 26, 2013 4:29 pm

      My wife is much like you. She can’t stand ‘Family Guy’ overall and is only being generous when she let’s me watch it while she’s in the room. However, she has fallen in love with MacFarlane because of the Comedy Central Roasts. I try to tell her it’s only because he and I are so much alike – she’s just politely smiles and lets me believe that’s why.

  25. February 26, 2013 4:13 pm

    The joke about Quvenzhane Wallis and George Clooney made me a tad uncomfortable, just because she is a child and I don’t think that’s appropriate to include children in those kinds of jokes. Otherwise meh I didn’t really care.

    • February 26, 2013 4:30 pm

      I can see your perspective on that and wouldn’t discount it. Thanks for the comment and for stopping by. If MacFarlane can get a “meh I didn’t really care” from ‘Feministbarbie’, he’s probably gotta chalk that up as a win!

  26. February 26, 2013 5:50 pm

    “We like to give over-the-line jokes because we want to push the edge, but we want to signal that it’s a joke through our body language because we’re really not a mean or hateful generation (if anything, we’re one of the most open, loving, and respectful generations), and MacFarlane’s comedic style is the essence of that. ” – So well said. I love it!

    • February 26, 2013 5:52 pm

      Thank you so very much! I really do think the generational gap played into a lot of people’s perceptions of his performance.

  27. February 26, 2013 6:00 pm

    Didn’t watch the show, but I’m a big fan of Family Guy. And . . . i don’t understand why people, generally, would take offence to his words, generally. This whole, ‘I’m offended by that’ business is plain nonsense. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, walk away. Unless you’ve been specifically pointed out, then why would you be offended? Sorry to digress, it just irks my nelly. Kool, with a capital K, article, btw. I much enjoyed very.

    • February 26, 2013 6:46 pm

      Great feedback, I agree in many ways.

    • February 26, 2013 6:57 pm

      I think that that idea of walking away unless something directly affects you is very dangerous. It’s too easy to do, and it’s almost never the right thing to do. MacFarlane made jokes about abuse, for example, and joking about something takes away the shock factor, makes it seem everyday and normal. We should always, always, always fight back against having the shock factor taken away on something like that. You wouldn’t stand back and watch if you saw a woman being physically abused in public would you? It’s the same idea here – you don’t just walk away when something wrong is being said. :)

    • February 27, 2013 11:36 am

      I was just replying to you saying that you should just walk away if something makes you uncomfortable. It’s not so much an offense thing, it’s more the entire culture of making fun of abuse – the more you do, the more okay and normal it becomes, which is why I don’t think you should just walk away, you should speak out against it.

  28. Deb Mukherjee permalink
    February 26, 2013 6:40 pm

    I loved (LOVED) Seth MacFarlane. Yeah, he steps over the line a bit but honestly, the uber conservative, uber professional, uber boring Oscars needed a little bit of line stepping. The Onion though…..way out of line.

    • February 26, 2013 6:48 pm

      Agree, the Oscars were in a desperate need of an adrenaline shot the last few years. MacFarlane gave them a 30% bump in the key advertiser demo, 18-49. Mission accomplished, I’d say.

  29. william wallace permalink
    February 26, 2013 6:51 pm

    The nonsense that coming from the TV as the movie indutry is
    appalling to say the least /from TV it’s simply poor quality
    garbage which is insult to any individual turning on the TV.

    The movie industry is simply a diet of violence / no plot no
    working brain cell needed /simply hours of mindless violence.

    How did american people get in such a predicament of deceit?.

    The answer to that is political corruption / politicians had
    the choice with modern communication TV RADIO MOVIE INDUSTRY
    they could allow freedom thus allow development of the brain
    or their bringing censorship. Govt choice was in censorship
    the rich bought over the TV as RADIO as NEWSPAPERS thus spun
    out their propaganda which allowing the rich to remain rich
    they had no intention of supporting communism or the LABOUR
    MOVEMENT which basis was sharing equally the nations wealth.

    Thus via the press COMMUNISM as an LABOUR MOVEMENT were but
    portrayed as the evil empire whom intended destroy democracy
    whom intended removing the people’s rights allowing freedom.
    Thus the media picked supported the politicians that served
    their agenda /thus in protecting their weath as their power.

    When govt saw the power of the movie industry where people
    had an means to put forth their own viewpoints & criticize
    govt’s /govt of the time retaliated in an massive campaign
    which they accused movie directors / producers and writers
    as actors in taking part in a communist plot to bring down
    the american govt /thus replacing it with a communist govt.

    Such a vile appalling govt campaign put a end to freedom
    of expression in the movie industry /govt took a complete
    control of what produced /thus but allowing only mindless
    nonsense / as is the case decades later where coming from
    the movie industry in main what produced is simply hours
    of mindless violence / where propaganda used in arousing
    hate as malice against others / over the last decade it’s
    muslims whom have been portrayed as being the great evil
    propaganda used justify a USA invasion of muslim nations.

    Thus the problem with the movie industry is as the same
    with radio tv newspapers rather than allowing the brain
    development they continue enforce /ongoing brainwashing.

    • February 26, 2013 7:02 pm

      Well, Sir Wallace, while I don’t agree with your opinion 100%, I appreciate you adding to the dialogue.

      • william wallace permalink
        February 26, 2013 7:58 pm

        Andrew /in your being the victim of generations of brainwashing it understandable you don’t entirely
        agree with my comment / however the comment is not
        the destination it but a signpost giving direction.

        On pc search put (words of peace) or put (words of
        peace global) on site a selection of videos / which
        Prem Rawat talks of meditation of one turning their
        senses inward thus bringing an practical experience
        of the power of creation /of one going beyond ideas
        as beliefs via experience their knowing the creator.

        If it be your heartfelt wish in attaining knowledge
        of the universe of the ultimate purpose of life then
        Prem will be your guide /aid in attaining such wish.

        ps / I’m not the pope or the president / you can but
        stand before me proud & free / thus / forget the Sir.

  30. February 26, 2013 6:52 pm

    Here’s my thing: I had no clue who Seth MacFarlane was before tuning in to the Oscars on Sunday. I had zero association with him and Family Guy, I didn’t have a clue who he was. When the Oscar’s began and I saw him, I had some vague thought about him being associated with Saturday Night Live, but I’m not too big on pop culture so I didn’t care to verify whether I was correct or not.

    And I was offended. If I’d gone in knowing that he was the ‘Family Guy’ guy, you could say that it was a bias and that I went in knowing I would be offended. But I didn’t, and I was. The boobs song was incredibly distasteful and it wasn’t even funny. The George Clooney joke was horrible because you should never joke about 9 year olds like that. And to top it all of MacFarlane threw a drink at Clooney after the joke, as if to say, ‘attaboy’. The Rihanna joke was terrible because abuse should never be joked about. I see that you think it was directed at Chris Brown, but it wasn’t. The joke had a very ‘it’s consensual on both sides and Rihanna just likes to be abused’ tone to it. That’s disgusting.

    Maybe the boob song threw me off and I therefore read into everything he said afterwards, but I really was offended. I think Family Guy is vulgar so I’m clearly not the audience he would want, but the main thing to me is that the Oscars are supposed to be a classy event. It’s just about the classiest live taped event there is, Family Guy humor doesn’t belong at such an event. I see what you’re saying about them wanting to get away from that image and attract a younger audience, but I would like to push back at this notion that the only thing that attracts my generation is potty humor.

    Just my two cents :)

    • February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

      While I don’t agree with you on some of your points, I appreciate your civil dialogue and your contribution to the conversation. Thanks!

  31. February 26, 2013 6:59 pm

    In all fairness, I was hoping for something a little fresher. That didn’t happen. No, he didn’t display a misogynist view in his comments but he was very cliched for the most part. There was no edge to any of his comedy. If you’re going to take a shot, make sure your aim is true. I think I liked it best when he directed the shots at himself.

    Comedy is a tricky thing at the best of times. When presenting at a show such as the Academy Awards I am guessing they want a certain decorum from their host/hostess.
    I don’t really understand why they try to bring in the people they do to ‘liven’ up the show. What the show needs is an overhaul really.

    What I did like is that they had presenters doubling up on their duties. Still it all about glamour or not, and dissing everyone in their choice of dress.

    I have seen some fabulous shows in the last year that didn’t get a nod or a wink or anything. So these awards are in my mind very stagnant in what they celebrate to begin with and that is why the viewing public is turning away.

    They will likely continue to bring in some fresh faces to try and save this sinking ship, but they really need to revamp the show.

    • February 26, 2013 7:01 pm

      Nancy, I’ll agree with you, the whole show needs a revamp. The median ago of Academy voters is somewhere around 65, I believe, and is still overwhelmingly white and male. That’s a problem they need to look into.

  32. February 26, 2013 7:23 pm

    I think people tend to forget that for the past decade, the academy has been trying to rebrand the show in order to draw in younger viewers….and FAILED….miserably many times! The reality is, Seth has a firm hold on a huge chunk of the American youth. Heck not only American…He’s a smash hit here in Northern Europe as well! So I can see the logic behind the Academy’s choice of host. I thought he did well. He kept it…relatively kosher….considering how far he could have taken it with his kind of humor. ;) I liked his style that night. He knew it was an important night and didn’t go all Ricky Gervais with everything. He gets an A from me….but then again, Im not exactly bias with being a hardcore Family Guy fan as well as having a HUGE crush on the man… :P….But still! An A is an A!

    • February 26, 2013 7:31 pm

      Thanks for the comment, and you’re right, an A is an A!

      • February 26, 2013 7:34 pm

        Goddammit! Sorry, I wrote the comment on my phone. It was suppose to say “I am VERY biased” :D

      • February 26, 2013 8:00 pm

        No apologies needed, I am no one to cast stones at misspellings and mixed phrasing.

  33. February 26, 2013 9:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Candy Hope and commented:
    Check this out, Oscar scoop

  34. February 26, 2013 9:20 pm

    I think MacF did it okay. And since everyone has a different sense of humuor, I think he managed to please many. He played it safe mostly.
    Let’s see what happens next year.

  35. February 26, 2013 10:26 pm

    I think he was offensive – while I recognize that MacFarlane’s humour is not exactly ‘safe’, joking about abuse/assault is not funny, period. However, your explanation of why you think he wasn’t offensive was really well expressed, and I respect your differing view because of that.

    • February 26, 2013 11:17 pm

      That’s what it’s about, listening to other people’s differing views and trying to understand. Thanks for the comment!

  36. February 26, 2013 11:02 pm

    As a woman, I thought his jokes very funny and I really liked him as a host. He came off very low keyed which made the jokes even better. Some people were simply not looking at the jokes closely enough and having a knee jerk reaction.

    • February 26, 2013 11:18 pm

      Like I said, I think some people brought in baggage and were simply looking for justification. Thanks for the comment!

  37. Violet permalink
    February 26, 2013 11:21 pm

    I watched a bit of the telecast then turned it off at 9. I am a Seth McFarland fan. I like Family Guy, Cleveland and American Dad. I hope next year he is asked to host The Golden Globes. The Onion was wrong for what they posted about Quvenzhane Wallis…not cool. She is a little kid. I heard the joke Seth made about her but, somehow I caught the tail end. Infact missed 80 percent of the show because I flipped over to AMC for The Walking Dead.

    When I turned back I figured the show would be over. (Nope!)
    The Loser’s song at the end of the Oscar’s was crazy but, then again thats Seth McFarland for you. lol

    • February 26, 2013 11:24 pm

      He said on Twitter that he wouldn’t host a show like this again because it just takes too much time. I’m on the West Coast, so luckily I was only a little behind The Walking Dead on my DVR.

      • Violet permalink
        February 26, 2013 11:28 pm

        I don’t blame him. The Walking Dead was awesome on Sunday.

  38. February 26, 2013 11:57 pm

    Really a great post. Good dude. Thanks for sharing such an useful information. Very interesting one.

  39. February 27, 2013 12:04 am

    I thought he did a great job, and I may be partial because of his cute dimples and singing voice and all that. ;) I (as a female) was not offended at any of his jokes and actually thought the boobs song was hilarious. I mean, if you saw the movies (that were mentioned in the song) then you did see their boobs. The song was just stating fact. ;)
    ~Jen

  40. Ryan permalink
    February 27, 2013 12:35 am

    Good post. I just randomly discovered your blog, Andrew. I, too, am from Mobile. Hope all is well out west.

  41. February 27, 2013 12:43 am

    Don’t like the show Family Guy, if the trailer is any indicator, I don’t think I would have cared for Ted either. I do like Billy Crystal. Has he had plastic surgery? He surely would have been in good company. Who cares? I like Crystal’s sense of humour. But then I don’t belong to the demographic that you say the Academy was aiming for. Can I end on a positive note and say that I totally agree with you about the lack of sexism / racism? I totally agree. Great post.

    • February 27, 2013 1:32 am

      Thanks for the comments. I really don’t have any problem with Crystal, and acknowledge his place among the Oscar host all-timers

  42. February 27, 2013 4:25 am

    I haven’t seen the Oscars but I saw the backlash of it online the following morning (I’m in the UK so it had pretty much just finished by the time I woke up). I don’t really know what they expected from the guy who brought us Family Guy.

    • February 27, 2013 11:32 am

      I think that’s what makes it more confounding to me – none of this should have been a surprise. If anything, I’d understand if it was met with yawns, but the faux rage just gets me.

  43. February 27, 2013 8:20 am

    Law School. I want to be you. Seth to me is a great way to attract a younger audience, and by watching interviews with him, he actually seems quite intelligent and witty. I like him. Also, fun fact, did you know he was suppose to be on one of the 9-11 planes but his assitant at the time gave him the wrong time to get to the airport and he missed the flight.

    • February 27, 2013 11:38 am

      Yeah, I’ve heard him talk about the 9/11 incident on a couple of different talk shows. So crazy.

  44. February 27, 2013 9:22 am

    Reblogged this on unwillingexpat and commented:
    Hummmmm …..

  45. February 27, 2013 9:35 am

    I personaly didn’t find him racist or sexist at all. I agree in saying that he did a decent job hosting (if he was going for a younger crowd.) I do however, feel that if the Oscars were trying to attract an older crowd they probably didn’t do such a hot job.

    • February 27, 2013 11:44 am

      Thanks for the comment! I think the Oscars weren’t too concerned about the older crows, as that crowd is going to show up no matter what. MacFarlane was there to make sure the 18-49 demo showed up, and for that, the saw a 30% increase in that demo’s ratings over last year. That’s a solid ROI (Return on Investment).

  46. February 27, 2013 9:47 am

    First I think he most looks like Peter Brady of the Brady Bunch.
    Second he can sing and dance pretty well and that was impressive to me and lent it self well to the evening
    Third The humor in “Ted” (from what I saw during various movie trailers and interviews) is so far from anything that would make me laugh. It is not my sense of humor at all so I was not predisposed to like him.
    Finally, As I woman I did not find him sexist, but I do have a hard time laughing at jokes about physical abuse – be that abuse of a man or a woman, so for me the Chris Brown line was not appropriate or funny, but that’s a single joke among many.

    • February 27, 2013 11:46 am

      Fair enough re: the Chris Brown joke. But yes, you’re not the first person who’s pointed out the Peter Brady comparison, it is pretty spot on.

  47. February 27, 2013 10:04 am

    Oscar night was boring with a capital B! Brady looked scared to death, and had no place in this venue. My suggestion to the academy-spend more time on the nominations, both films and actors and quit with the corn!

  48. February 27, 2013 10:36 am

    No, you shouldn’t have been offended.

    • February 27, 2013 11:57 am

      That seems to be the dominant opinion so far that I’m hearing. I feel a little less bad about myself.

  49. February 27, 2013 10:44 am

    the show was too long in general. I think they need to stick to the K.I.S.S formula. As a host, Seth MacFarlane was ok. The trouble is that most of America watches it not just “hipsters” in the big cities. That includes my little nieces who got special permission to stay up late. I think it is important to keep the Oscars classy. What is so wrong with keeping it funny and clean anyway? Leave the off-color humor for the Golden Globes..

    • February 27, 2013 11:58 am

      As a father of a one-year old girl, I can see your point, and realize that’s something that I’ll probably consider more in the future. Thanks for the comment!

  50. February 27, 2013 11:03 am

    Yes.

  51. February 27, 2013 12:02 pm

    I didn’t see anything offensive, but we probably have similar tastes based on your story. Very thoughtful and well written. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  52. February 27, 2013 12:44 pm

    Great review! I appreciate that you can admit you may have a blind spot when it comes to certain topics. It’d be nice if more people acknowledged their own race/gender blind spots.

    I didn’t think Seth’s “jokes” were racist or sexist, unfortunately they were just not funny (except I did get a kick out of the “boob” song).

    • February 27, 2013 1:06 pm

      Thanks for the comments. We can’t evolve past out limitations if we never acknowledge them.

  53. February 27, 2013 4:14 pm

    I think the only people that were offended were people that don’t ‘get’ his humor. He isn’t sexist, or racist. He’s a talented comedian. Besides, if you don’t want people commenting about your boobs, then cover them up.

  54. February 27, 2013 7:24 pm

    I did like the opening joke: “And now, the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh… BEGINS!”

  55. February 28, 2013 2:43 am

    I agree with all your comments. The show was not too bad. I loved Ted, so I was very excited to see someone pushing the boundaries a little. As a 40 year old male I also became bored with the instiution that is Oscar. This was a great way to mix it up. But they should bring in Tina and Amy for next year. They soared at the Globes…

  56. February 28, 2013 6:08 am

    As Jimmy Carr said “Offence is taken, not given.”
    If you take offence then good for you. Ineffective and a waste of time.
    Rarely anything offends me these days.I use to be quite the thin skinned person. Glad I can laugh now, and just enjoy life.

  57. badooney permalink
    February 28, 2013 10:25 pm

    This was the first time I’ve laughed at The Oscars in years, and it was refreshing and pleasant to watch a host with good comedy timing who didn’t trip over him/herself. As you pointed out in the article, none of the jokes involving women were ABOUT women, with the exception of the “Zero Dark Thirty” joke, which did make me cringe a bit. As a woman and a feminist, I was not in the least offended and was extremely surprised by the backlash.

  58. March 1, 2013 9:45 am

    I switched it off atvthe musical number “we saw your boobs”. And then picked up my jaw. Apalling.

  59. March 1, 2013 1:06 pm

    I’m a 30-year-old woman in total agreement with you (though, I’m sure buzzfeed would just say the patriarchy has caused me to internalize misogyny but eff that noise). “We Saw Your Boobs” was toeing a line, I thought, but what kept it on the side of not bad is that it was framed around the concept of being what made Seth MacFarlane the “worst Oscar host ever.”

    If it was just a straight song, because the Oscars loves its musical numbers, there’d be plenty of room to call foul. But that framing device makes it less about “women and boobs! women and boobs! Wheee! Women and boobs!” and more a commentary on the sexism that does exist within the industry. And that commentary was not “Sexism, Yay!”

    Plus, it was kind of fun, and it allowed for the “We Saw Your Junk” parody, which was equally amusing.

  60. March 1, 2013 2:44 pm

    I have never watched the Oscars and wasn’t about to start just because Seth was hosting….but as far as being offended, its like how can he be taken seriously enough to be offensive? Family Guy hasn’t been funny in years. The Cleveland Show was never funny (A white guy creating a show about a black family? Really?) I think too much energy is put into the guy, honestly.

  61. March 1, 2013 7:24 pm

    This was beautifully written and I agree with all you said. I’m a woman and an actor and part of that young demo. I loved it all on Sunday night.

  62. yeshomo permalink
    March 1, 2013 8:39 pm

    What is most offensive are people too wrapped up in their political correctness to appreciate, much less understand, genius. I am a 63 year old gay native new yorker living in nyc, and encountered gay men who engage in scatological behavior condemning the tastelessness of Seth Macfarlane. They don’t condemn the content of what he said, but that he didn’t do it behind closed doors. People hate honest people that reveal the mechanisms of ones hypoocritical culture….that is why a priest who confesses molesting your children is hated by the vatican more than one who denies it and casts a harsh light on the catholic church.

  63. March 2, 2013 2:07 pm

    the oscars is meant for conservative style. the oscar team just needs to choose the right host that suits the image, that’s all. the sexist jokes – where? what? i couldn’t find any. mc farlane just did what he had to do with his own style. i only watch oscars mainly for the dresses, winners and music performances btw, not really about the host. critics are often too much and trying too hard to find flaws cause bad news mean good news. i think the criticizers don’t actually know how to host. that’s why what they do is criticizing others. the only ones to criticize are the criticizers.

    • March 4, 2013 1:20 pm

      Thanks for the input! And if you’re there mainly for the fashion, the awards, and the music, than it’s hard to be disappointed ever! Dame Bassey shut it down!

  64. March 2, 2013 6:43 pm

    As a woman, I wasn’t the slightest bit offended by anything Seth MacFarlane did or said. And I’m not even conservative, really. It’s Seth MacFarlane. He did what he does – and actually, he was very restrained given his usual writing. He’s talented, he’s funny, the “We Saw Your Boobs” song and the “Flying Nun” skit (you didn’t mention it and it wasn’t sexist) and the Jessica Chastain joke had me laughing out loud. I rarely laugh out loud watching the Oscars. Here’s the thing: bashing the Oscar show is a sport. It happens every year. No one’s ever happy with it. The real issue, in my opinion, is timing and the writing for the presenters. Now THAT is awful.

  65. March 2, 2013 11:08 pm

    Have given some thought to all of this and have a fairly lengthy reply that wouldn’t fit very well in the space allowed for comments. Hope you’ll check it out at http://ceejae-devine.com/funny-business-its-shameful-side/

  66. March 3, 2013 12:56 pm

    I definitely think that Seth was a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the Oscars. I think he did well with his lines and materials with some humility shown in the whole sequence with Wm. Shatner predicting how his presentation would go by seeing the future. The way the critics jumped makes me wonder about their age. Well, I am 57 and enjoyed it overall. Thanks for a well written critique and I plan on following you now! Congrats on Freshly Pressed, too!

    • yeshomo permalink
      March 3, 2013 2:56 pm

      As long as people are blind to nuance, brilliance will go unnoticed.

    • March 4, 2013 2:09 pm

      Thank you for your comments! The Freshly Pressed ride has def been an interesting one.

  67. March 6, 2013 3:16 pm

    interesting post :)

  68. March 6, 2013 4:50 pm

    I appreciate how in-depth you went on your thoughts of MacFarlane and especially on the sexism/racism points, which I was unaware of. My favorite chunk of this blog though was this excellent bit about our generation’s humor: ” Hell, it’s really the comedic style of my entire generation. We like to give over-the-line jokes because we want to push the edge, but we want to signal that it’s a joke through our body language because we’re really not a mean or hateful generation (if anything, we’re one of the most open, loving, and respectful generations), and MacFarlane’s comedic style is the essence of that.”

    That is excellent. I couldn’t agree more. I know for a fact that my, and my friend’s jokes, are hard-edged and at times totally offensive. But I’ll be damned if I can get ANY hate-filled, over the top, hardcore style joke out of my mouth with a straight face or boyish mannerisms. They’re note MEANT to be mean. The jokes merely are funny by hinting at cruelty while letting everyone know that even the butt of the joke is in on it.

    Cool post.

  69. March 6, 2013 9:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Virginia the Viruliferous and commented:
    Someone actually gets it! Seth’s performance was his usual, just toward a broader audience, most of whom aren’t used to his kind of humor. On top of that, he knew he was playing to that audience. He said he didn’t want to do it again, and his boobs song was part of his way of making sure they didn’t bring him back. He’s an awesome person who knows how to laugh at anything, put a twist on it that isn’t insulting, just funny. If people could get that through their heads, they’d learn how funny it is that they are offended by his work at all.

  70. March 8, 2013 5:52 pm

    I could go into Seth’s routine, but you can’t teach a dog new tricks, and really what else did anyone expect from him? Sure, he’s all kinds of offensive, but he always is. The Academy should have known better. What saddens me is the Oscars used to be about film. About acting, performance, directing, and music. Now it’s turned into a cheap comedy show meant as a spectacle to attract viewers and boost ratings. And that is the real shame here. The industry has been corrupted. This is art, not prostitution.

    • March 11, 2013 2:49 pm

      The Academy can’t decide whether they want to respect the art or compete with the Globes for ratings, and that’s a big part of their problem in selecting hosts.

  71. March 9, 2013 8:49 pm

    Excellent read! I too wrote a similar piece about my interpretation of the Oscars. I’ve followed MacFarlane’s work for a bit over a decade now and I (at least I believe anyway) have a thorough understanding of the messages that tends to be behind his often times “offensive” humor.

  72. March 25, 2013 8:33 pm

    Good job!! This was written very well and I enjoyed the blog. Keep it up!!

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