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Opinions & Editorials Discuss Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night at the General Forum; Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night Posted by Amy Davidson February 25, 2013 Watching the Oscars last ...

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:35 AM
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Default Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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


Posted by Amy Davidson
February 25, 2013


Watching the Oscars last night meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane. That would be tedious enough. But the evening’s misogyny involved a specific hostility to women in the workplace, which raises broader questions than whether the Academy can possibly get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host next year. It was unattractive and sour, and started with a number called “We Saw Your Boobs.”

“We Saw Your Boobs” was as a song-and-dance routine in which MacFarlane and some grinning guys named actresses in the audience and the movies in which their breasts were visible. That’s about it. What made it worse was that most of the movies mentioned, if not all (“Gia”), were pretty great—“Silkwood,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Monster’s Ball,” “Monster,” “The Accused,” “Iris”—and not exactly teen-exploitation pictures. The women were not showing their bodies to amuse Seth MacFarlane but, rather, to do their job. Or did they just think they were doing serious work? You girls think you’re making art, the Academy, through MacFarlane, seemed to say, but all we—and the “we” was resolutely male—really see is that we got you to undress. The joke’s on you. At a moment when Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer, talks about how women have to “lean in” in the workplace, Seth MacFarlane pops up from behind to say, “So we can see your boobs.”

The song was part of a larger skit whose premise was that William Shatner, as Captain Kirk, sends MacFarlane a message from the future about the dumb things he might do while hosting the Oscars. But that premise is not an excuse. Getting Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts to pre-record looks of mortification didn’t help, either. (It was hard to tell watching at home, unless you were keeping track of what each woman was wearing, that these weren’t live shots.) It just seemed like a way for MacFarlane to make fun of viewers for being prudish and not “getting it.” (See, the cool girls think that it’s funny!) We got it. It just means that there’s a whole army of producers to blame. Also, future Uhura should have a word with future Kirk.

The Academy is supposedly a trade group, and yet it devoted its opening number to degrading a good part of its membership. And who knows what the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus thought that it was doing by serving as MacFarlane’s backup singers, but it’s hard not to wonder what the rhetorical point was meant to be. We saw your boobs, but that’s not even what we find attractive, so you exerted no power in doing so—all you did was humiliate yourself? Maybe that’s reading too much into it. It could be that MacFarlane just thought it would be funny for him to say the word “gay” as often as possible.

There are many variations on misogyny, and MacFarlane by no means confined himself to a single one. (A Buzzfeed post called “6 Sexist Things That Happened at the Oscars” was revised, in the course of the evening, to “9 Sexist Things.”) “Django Unchained,” he said, was “the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who has been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.” Relationships are complicated, and it can take a woman more than one attempt to leave an abuser. But if any woman who goes back is told that she has forfeited sympathy and can be written off with mockery—that the whole thing is now an amusing spectacle—then we’ll end up with more dead women. There are surely better things to joke about. Instead, we got a borderline anti-Semitic Teddy bear asking where the post-Oscars orgy would be. The answer was Jack Nicholson’s house; maybe not the same Jack Nicholson house where Roman Polanski raped a girl, but still, not funny.

One of the more dispiriting distractions from MacFarlane was the sight of actresses who weren’t all that old whose faces seemed paralyzed, and younger ones who talked about how they hadn’t eaten in a long, long time. When Hugh Jackman showed up on the red carpet with his human-looking wife, they were waylaid by Kristin Chenoweth, in screeching miniature, who asked to be lifted up so that her weight could be compared to that of an Oscar statuette. It was another view of what is asked of women. At the end of the show, Chenoweth joined MacFarlane in a number reminding “losers” that they’d lost.

The main misogynistic awfulness was centered on the workplace. There might have been a slight dread that MacFarlane would make a waterboarding joke, but he didn’t—maybe he felt that Senator Richard Burr, of North Carolina, had taken care of that at the Brennan hearings. But since so much of MacFarlane’s humor was rote and derivative, it’s more likely that he just stopped at the idea that “Zero Dark Thirty” was about “every woman’s innate ability to never ever let anything go.” That’s what it means when a woman in the office believes in something, and presses for it? There was a joke, too, about Jennifer Aniston not admitting having worked as an “exotic dancer”—and at that point MacFarlane had already more or less called Meryl Streep one. It’s possible that the line about not caring that he couldn’t understand a word that Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek said because they were good to look at was directed as much at Latinos as at women, since he also mentioned Javier Bardem—but that doesn’t make it any better. What are women in Hollywood for? To judge from a few other MacFarlane jokes, they’re for dating men in Hollywood, until the men decide that they’re too old.

How old is that? Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for best actress, is nine years old. “To give you an idea how young she is, it’ll be sixteen years before she’s too old for Clooney,” MacFarlane said. (And what is too young?) But the misogynistic low point involving Wallis was a tie between MacFarlane and the Onion. After a clip of her performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” played—in which she acted strong and independent and ready to yell back—she pumped her arms joyously. “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a ****, right?” the Onion tweeted. The line was deleted an hour later. But rather than being an aberration, it was of a piece with the evening. Act assertively, and we’ll put you down. (As with the Salma Hayek thing, there may have been a racial strain to this one, which only makes it more enraging.) And anyway, when you grow up, we’ll just want you to show your boobs.

What the women actually showed during the evening was that they worked a lot harder, and a lot smarter, than Seth MacFarlane. Shirley Bassey sang “Goldfinger,” and Adele sang “Skyfall”—it’s notable that two of the better moments in the show involved Bond films—and Barbra Streisand was mesmerizing with “The Way We Were.” Either by dint of age or body type or simple strength and craft, none of the three were what the Oscars had been telling women that they had to be—a reminder that it’s best not to listen to guys like MacFarlane. When Daniel Day-Lewis, accepting an Oscar for best actor that was presented by Meryl Streep, joked about the two of them having done a “straight swap,” scuttling a plan for him to play Margaret Thatcher and for her to be Lincoln, one wanted nothing more than to see each of them in those roles—not because having them dress in drag would be fodder for a future MacFarlane number but because of how Day-Lewis might convey Thatcher’s temporal power and the strength that Streep would bring to the role of a President.

There are more and less obvious ways to talk about politics and the Oscars. Was it a good idea for Michelle Obama to announce the Best Picture winner by video—and would it still have been if “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Django Unchained” had won? Beyond cameos and torture, the ceremony engaged in a political fight involving women, and took the dumber side. Movies, and what women do in and to them, are better than the Academy seemed to realize. The same could be said about a lot of women in a lot of jobs. And women can’t forget it.

Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars' Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night : The New Yorker



This sounds dreadful. I'm glad I didn't watch.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night


Posted by Amy Davidson
February 25, 2013


Watching the Oscars last night meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane. That would be tedious enough. But the evening’s misogyny involved a specific hostility to women in the workplace, which raises broader questions than whether the Academy can possibly get Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host next year. It was unattractive and sour, and started with a number called “We Saw Your Boobs.”

“We Saw Your Boobs” was as a song-and-dance routine in which MacFarlane and some grinning guys named actresses in the audience and the movies in which their breasts were visible. That’s about it. What made it worse was that most of the movies mentioned, if not all (“Gia”), were pretty great—“Silkwood,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Monster’s Ball,” “Monster,” “The Accused,” “Iris”—and not exactly teen-exploitation pictures. The women were not showing their bodies to amuse Seth MacFarlane but, rather, to do their job. Or did they just think they were doing serious work? You girls think you’re making art, the Academy, through MacFarlane, seemed to say, but all we—and the “we” was resolutely male—really see is that we got you to undress. The joke’s on you. At a moment when Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer, talks about how women have to “lean in” in the workplace, Seth MacFarlane pops up from behind to say, “So we can see your boobs.”

The song was part of a larger skit whose premise was that William Shatner, as Captain Kirk, sends MacFarlane a message from the future about the dumb things he might do while hosting the Oscars. But that premise is not an excuse. Getting Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts to pre-record looks of mortification didn’t help, either. (It was hard to tell watching at home, unless you were keeping track of what each woman was wearing, that these weren’t live shots.) It just seemed like a way for MacFarlane to make fun of viewers for being prudish and not “getting it.” (See, the cool girls think that it’s funny!) We got it. It just means that there’s a whole army of producers to blame. Also, future Uhura should have a word with future Kirk.

The Academy is supposedly a trade group, and yet it devoted its opening number to degrading a good part of its membership. And who knows what the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus thought that it was doing by serving as MacFarlane’s backup singers, but it’s hard not to wonder what the rhetorical point was meant to be. We saw your boobs, but that’s not even what we find attractive, so you exerted no power in doing so—all you did was humiliate yourself? Maybe that’s reading too much into it. It could be that MacFarlane just thought it would be funny for him to say the word “gay” as often as possible.

There are many variations on misogyny, and MacFarlane by no means confined himself to a single one. (A Buzzfeed post called “6 Sexist Things That Happened at the Oscars” was revised, in the course of the evening, to “9 Sexist Things.”) “Django Unchained,” he said, was “the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who has been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.” Relationships are complicated, and it can take a woman more than one attempt to leave an abuser. But if any woman who goes back is told that she has forfeited sympathy and can be written off with mockery—that the whole thing is now an amusing spectacle—then we’ll end up with more dead women. There are surely better things to joke about. Instead, we got a borderline anti-Semitic Teddy bear asking where the post-Oscars orgy would be. The answer was Jack Nicholson’s house; maybe not the same Jack Nicholson house where Roman Polanski raped a girl, but still, not funny.

One of the more dispiriting distractions from MacFarlane was the sight of actresses who weren’t all that old whose faces seemed paralyzed, and younger ones who talked about how they hadn’t eaten in a long, long time. When Hugh Jackman showed up on the red carpet with his human-looking wife, they were waylaid by Kristin Chenoweth, in screeching miniature, who asked to be lifted up so that her weight could be compared to that of an Oscar statuette. It was another view of what is asked of women. At the end of the show, Chenoweth joined MacFarlane in a number reminding “losers” that they’d lost.

The main misogynistic awfulness was centered on the workplace. There might have been a slight dread that MacFarlane would make a waterboarding joke, but he didn’t—maybe he felt that Senator Richard Burr, of North Carolina, had taken care of that at the Brennan hearings. But since so much of MacFarlane’s humor was rote and derivative, it’s more likely that he just stopped at the idea that “Zero Dark Thirty” was about “every woman’s innate ability to never ever let anything go.” That’s what it means when a woman in the office believes in something, and presses for it? There was a joke, too, about Jennifer Aniston not admitting having worked as an “exotic dancer”—and at that point MacFarlane had already more or less called Meryl Streep one. It’s possible that the line about not caring that he couldn’t understand a word that Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek said because they were good to look at was directed as much at Latinos as at women, since he also mentioned Javier Bardem—but that doesn’t make it any better. What are women in Hollywood for? To judge from a few other MacFarlane jokes, they’re for dating men in Hollywood, until the men decide that they’re too old.

How old is that? Quvenzhané Wallis, who was nominated for best actress, is nine years old. “To give you an idea how young she is, it’ll be sixteen years before she’s too old for Clooney,” MacFarlane said. (And what is too young?) But the misogynistic low point involving Wallis was a tie between MacFarlane and the Onion. After a clip of her performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” played—in which she acted strong and independent and ready to yell back—she pumped her arms joyously. “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a ****, right?” the Onion tweeted. The line was deleted an hour later. But rather than being an aberration, it was of a piece with the evening. Act assertively, and we’ll put you down. (As with the Salma Hayek thing, there may have been a racial strain to this one, which only makes it more enraging.) And anyway, when you grow up, we’ll just want you to show your boobs.

What the women actually showed during the evening was that they worked a lot harder, and a lot smarter, than Seth MacFarlane. Shirley Bassey sang “Goldfinger,” and Adele sang “Skyfall”—it’s notable that two of the better moments in the show involved Bond films—and Barbra Streisand was mesmerizing with “The Way We Were.” Either by dint of age or body type or simple strength and craft, none of the three were what the Oscars had been telling women that they had to be—a reminder that it’s best not to listen to guys like MacFarlane. When Daniel Day-Lewis, accepting an Oscar for best actor that was presented by Meryl Streep, joked about the two of them having done a “straight swap,” scuttling a plan for him to play Margaret Thatcher and for her to be Lincoln, one wanted nothing more than to see each of them in those roles—not because having them dress in drag would be fodder for a future MacFarlane number but because of how Day-Lewis might convey Thatcher’s temporal power and the strength that Streep would bring to the role of a President.

There are more and less obvious ways to talk about politics and the Oscars. Was it a good idea for Michelle Obama to announce the Best Picture winner by video—and would it still have been if “Zero Dark Thirty” or “Django Unchained” had won? Beyond cameos and torture, the ceremony engaged in a political fight involving women, and took the dumber side. Movies, and what women do in and to them, are better than the Academy seemed to realize. The same could be said about a lot of women in a lot of jobs. And women can’t forget it.

Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars' Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night : The New Yorker



This sounds dreadful. I'm glad I didn't watch.
Children being neglected and abused, sometimes killed by alcoholic and drug addled adults in every city in America, but Amy Davidson finds the motivation to become outraged because a bunch of shallow, narcissistic people who make their money by playing "make-believe" and "dress up" engage in juvenile humor.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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Children being neglected and abused, sometimes killed by alcoholic and drug addled adults in every city in America, but Amy Davidson finds the motivation to become outraged because a bunch of shallow, narcissistic people who make their money by playing "make-believe" and "dress up" engage in juvenile humor.
Regardless of how terrible the state of the world is at any given time, art has always been important to the human race, including the performing arts.
Women are major contributors to the arts, and it's reprehensible and insulting to imply that their sole contribution consists of providing sexual titillation.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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Regardless of how terrible the state of the world is at any given time, art has always been important to the human race, including the performing arts.
Women are major contributors to the arts, and it's reprehensible and insulting to imply that their sole contribution consists of providing sexual titillation.
That is more or less precisely what some of the most popular women in entertainment imply. And they get very, very rich doing so. Have you turned on your TV lately?
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Or if you're a traditionalist,
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And children, say it like you mean it!

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Old 03-02-2013, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

Oh no he sung a song about boobs. Oh the horror.How dare he.(sarcasm).
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

First, this belongs in the entertainment forum, not here.

Second, who gives a rats ass what the folks of Hollywood do or say. I didn't watch, and I don't care. Most of these so called actors are pathetic hacks, and most of what Hollywood produces today is garbage.

Finally, the Hollywood elite are so narcissistic that if one of them doesn't get an award for something they make up a new award for them. These awards, like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer have become meaningless, given out for political reasons more so than acting anymore.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

So let me get this straight...

Everyone knows who Seth McFarlane is and what kind of comedy he does, they all know what he is known for and what kind of acts he likes to perform, everyone was excited for him to perform, and now they are upset because they may be offended?

Seems a bit ridiculous to me
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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Women are major contributors to the arts, and it's reprehensible and insulting to imply that their sole contribution consists of providing sexual titillation.
Where does anyone imply that its their SOLE contribution ?...

No one can deny that it's been A contribution...

From Marilyn Monroe's skirt above the subway grate to Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs to Phoebe Cates in slow motion, there is no possible way to not realize that women "providing sexual titillation" doesn't exist AT ALL...

I fully understand how some women may think that's a little beneath them, but to say the routine was pointing out "their SOLE contribution" is pure hyperbole...
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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Children being neglected and abused, sometimes killed by alcoholic and drug addled adults in every city in America, but Amy Davidson finds the motivation to become outraged because a bunch of shallow, narcissistic people who make their money by playing "make-believe" and "dress up" engage in juvenile humor.
You just described most of the threads here. Where is your threads about the neglected and abused children or are you just judging others?
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night

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So let me get this straight...

Everyone knows who Seth McFarlane is and what kind of comedy he does, they all know what he is known for and what kind of acts he likes to perform, everyone was excited for him to perform, and now they are upset because they may be offended?

Seems a bit ridiculous to me
Actually I had no clue who he was. Still don't. I thought it was a dumb show.
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