Oscars Host Seth MacFarlane Crossed Line To Bigotry and Anti-Semitism

Talking Bear Skit Was Offensive — and Not Funny, Either

Not Too Funny: Oscars host Seth MacFarlane made jokes about gays, women, Latinas and Jews. Just because he was an equal opportunity offender doesn’t make it any less, well, offensive. Plus, he wasn’t too funny.
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Not Too Funny: Oscars host Seth MacFarlane made jokes about gays, women, Latinas and Jews. Just because he was an equal opportunity offender doesn’t make it any less, well, offensive. Plus, he wasn’t too funny.

By Peter Dreier

Published February 25, 2013.
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It seems as though the Oscars writers think that Hollywood is so liberal that they can get away with making offensive comments because everyone knows they’re “just joking.”

I don’t agree.

Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony featured a not very subtle onslaught of sexist, racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic “jokes.”

At a time when America is facing an epidemic of gun violence and debating how to limit the spread of assault weapons, host Seth MacFarlane thought it would be clever to make a joke about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

“Daniel Day-Lewis is not the first actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln,” MacFarlane said. “Raymond Massey portrayed him in the 1940’s ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois.’ I would argue, though, the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.”

Perhaps hoping to win an award for “most racially insensitive” comment, MacFarlane joked about Lewis’ habit of staying in character during the filming of Lincoln, even when the cameras were off.

“If you bumped into Don Cheadle in the studio lot,” McFarlane said, looking at Lewis in the audience, “would you try and free him?”

MacFarlane also made outrageous remarks about Adele’s weight, gays, women, Latinas and Jews.

It would be difficult to pick a winner in the “most sexist comment” category. MacFarlane sang a juvenile song, “We Saw Your Boobs,” about movie scenes in which former Oscar nominees were topless. Referring to the decade-long quest to find Osama bin Laden by Jessica Chastain’s character in “Zero Dark Thirty,” McFarlane said it was an example of women never being “able to let anything go.”

To those women who lost weight before attending the Oscar ceremony, McFarlane said, “For all those women who had the ‘flu,’ it paid off. Lookin’ good.”

Referring to Latina actresses Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek – both of whom speak impeccable English – MacFarlane said, “We have no idea what they’re saying, but we don’t care cause they’re so attractive.”

After singing “We Saw Your Boobs” with the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus, MacFarlane made a point of explaining that he wasn’t actually a member of the chorus, as if being gay was something to be ashamed of. MacFarlane also observed that the show’s producers had invited the cast of “Chicago” to perform on the telecast because “the [Oscars] show isn’t gay enough yet.”


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