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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:22 PM

Between Seth MacFarlane and the Onion, Oscars night was a festival of misogyny

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/26/seth-macfarlane-onion-oscars-misogyny



If, as one multiple Oscar winner once put it, comedy is tragedy plus time, then the timing around the Oscars felt very off to a lot of people on Sunday night. It has now been so long since the Oscars had a successful host (Billy Crystal in the 90s? Bob Hope in the 60s?) that complaining about the MC the day after the event – or on social media during the shindig – has become as traditional as the nausea induced by the acceptance speeches.

Yet even by the plummeting standards of the recent years, Seth MacFarlane can lay proud claim to being the most reviled host yet. He achieved the impressive feat of making Anne Hathaway and James Franco's effort two years ago look smooth; by comparison, Crystal blacking up last year looks tasteful. Even the august New Yorker felt compelled to run not one, but three blogs about MacFarlane's hosting effort the following day, in which he was described in very unaugust tones as "scrubby, self-satisfied and sexist", "a gross miscalculation" and (whatever would William Shawn say?) a "bitter asshole".

Yet MacFarlane was not the only criticised element of the night, which may well disappoint him, considering moral outrage appears to be his bread and butter. During the ceremony satirical newspaper the Onion tweeted, "Everyone else seems afraid to say it but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?" For the first time ever, the Onion issued an official retraction and apology.

Part of the difficulty in discussing whether an attempt at humour is edgy or just infantile is that reactions to comedy are subjective – a fact that is oddly often forgotten by fans and critics. Few high-profile comedians inspire the kind of partisan reaction and tribal devotion as MacFarlane. I can't think of many topics – not feminism, not parenting, not even the controversial subject of animal hats – that have inspired such impassioned feedback as my dislike of MacFarlane's comedy, with reactions ranging from strong agreement to: "Take a hike and get someone who doesn't have an agenda to write a proper review." It is not surprising that MacFarlane's fans defend him so aggressively because aggressive, frattish, "if you don't get the joke you're a loser" humour is their idol's modus operandi. This was demonstrated in HD by his performance on Sunday, which, in short order, reduced female actors to "boobs" and riffed on domestic abuse, racism, antisemitism and the idea of a nine-year-old – who was sitting right there in the audience – dating George Clooney. His brain-bleedingly awful opening song about all the women in the audience whose breasts he has seen on screen was Page 3 in song and dance, reducing the women to their mammaries, and no claims of "irony" can get around that (the screengrab of Naomi Watts' rehearsed reaction to MacFarlane's song shows her seat neighbour taking his cue from the lyrics and looking down her dress). Perhaps the weirdest thing about it was that hardly any of MacFarlane's references were from recent years (The Accused?). By contrast, there have been plenty of penises on screen of late (Django Unchained, Shame), but the thought of MacFarlane crooning "We've seen your dick" is unimaginable. Because that would be totally gay, right?

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Between Seth MacFarlane and the Onion, Oscars night was a festival of misogyny (Original post)
steve2470 Feb 2013 OP
MuseRider Feb 2013 #1
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #2
randome Feb 2013 #16
niyad Feb 2013 #3
Arugula Latte Feb 2013 #4
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #5
msongs Feb 2013 #6
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #7
Melinda Feb 2013 #8
99Forever Feb 2013 #9
Bake Feb 2013 #10
bettyellen Feb 2013 #11
great white snark Feb 2013 #12
Cha Feb 2013 #15
CrawlingChaos Feb 2013 #17
99Forever Feb 2013 #19
cali Feb 2013 #13
99Forever Feb 2013 #18
Cha Feb 2013 #14

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:41 PM

1. I was constantly irritated

by the fact that the sound seemed so poorly mixed that I could not understand anything. I have big hearing problems anyway but can usually find a setting or use the closed captioning. I am very happy I did not know half of what was going on. I enjoyed it, but I do not enjoy reading what was really going on. Sometimes being almost deaf is a plus I guess. Wow.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:44 PM

2. It was ridiculous. And even from a comedic standpoint, resorting to such crude humor is

a sign of desperation. It's easy humor. It's lazy comedy writing.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:42 PM

16. That's MacFarlane's stock in trade: easy, crude humor.

I don't see much difference between him and Daniel Tosh. Why anyone expects better of either one of them is beyond me.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:50 PM

3. I am glad I am not the only one--I only caught bits and pieces, but the pieces I did catch

of that infantile "humour" were, to say the least, nauseating. completely without class or taste. have no idea who this emcee is, or why he was chosen. but the academy should be smacked, HARD, for this choice.

the young girl was utterly charming. I hope the remarks went over her head.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:51 PM

4. Rape. Ha ha. Jews run Hollywood. Ha ha. Pedophile jokes. Ha ha. Some people lost. Ha ha.

Oh, and if you don't think it was funny you're an uptight b@#$h feminazi.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:24 PM

5. Get Bob Hope Back..Ooops..

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:04 PM

6. the audience gets its just reward for watching such drivel lol nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:08 PM

7. Who would have ever imagined that celebration of, and commentary on, Hollywood would be misogynist?

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:19 PM

8. The Scorpion and the Frog.

Didn't anyone wonder what kind of host MacFarlane would be BEFORE he was hired? His particular brand of funny is pretty well known, isn't it?

I've never watched Family Guy because I'd heard of his... antics. And I'm old.

The flip side is that I bet the Oscars considers this experience and its repercussions and adjust what it believes passes for "humor" a lot more carefully in the future. Methinks letters are in order. This behavior needs to stop.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:20 PM

9. Has it ever occured to ...

... any of you outraged victims, to just not watch the rich privileged people give each other awards for what they already got paid quite well for doing?




I guess not.

As if any of this really matters when compared to what's happening to your sisters and brothers struggling to just eat or find shelter or get even basic health care needs met.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:08 PM

10. Indeed.

But the money's not enough, they have to have a gold (plated?) statuette.

Bake

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:17 PM

11. Lighten up!

*sarcasm thingey*

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:30 PM

12. Those "rich privileged people" sometimes create beautiful works of art.

The Oscars celebrate that art.

"As if any of this really matters when compared to what's happening to your sisters and brothers struggling to just eat or find shelter or get even basic health care needs met."

Most of us can enjoy several hours of television without losing sight of real issues.

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Response to great white snark (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:39 PM

15. Thanks g w s! Perfect

reply.

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Response to great white snark (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:05 PM

17. "beautiful works of art" is being very generous

Most Oscars-nominated films are highly commercial mediocrities at best, and quite frequently, they're just plain crap. There are exceptions of course, but very few "beautiful works of art" get Oscar nominations.

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Response to great white snark (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:33 PM

19. Judging from how many victims are here...

... having seizures over it today, there's a whole bunch of them that can't.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:36 PM

13. That's not the point, dear.

for fuck's sake, try using a few brain cells. First of all, I did immediately turn it off in the middle of the boobs number, but a lot of people want to watch it. Beyond that, a BILLION people worldwide watch it. And the sexist crap is a message that it's just fine dandy and funny as hell to demean women.

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Response to cali (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:30 PM

18. I'm not your gawddamn "dear" for starters. I stopped reading there.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:37 PM

14. I didn't see them.. I don't have a tv anymore. I use

to always watch them because I love movies and the whole thing.. but, I remember if some host would be insulting to someone for humor I would hate it. It stinks up the whole show. And, this one sounds WAY OVER THE TOP.. is wrong with him? And, did the Academy check his words before the show?

I hope Seth McFarlane(who I don't even know of) got the message with massive Tweets!

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