Seth MacFarlane Panned as 'Bumbling' Oscars Host Depite Rise in Ratings

ADL Slams 'Sad' Anti-Jewish Jokes in Hollywood Spectacular

getty images

By Reuters

Published February 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Sunday’s Oscar ceremony scored the biggest TV audience in three years, and edgy new host Seth MacFarlane helped boost interest from young men, despite getting a mauling from TV critics.

Nielsen ratings data on Monday showed that 40.3 million Americans watched the Academy Awards ceremony on ABC television, up three percent from 2012. ABC said it was the largest Oscar audience in three years.

Boosted by a bumper box office crop of movies and intrigue over MacFarlane’s debut as Oscar host, the show grew 11 percent in the 18-49 year-old audience most coveted by advertisers, and by 34 percent in 18-34 year-old men compared to 2012.

After a night of zingers about gays and Jews and risque jokes about female nudity, the man behind animated TV series “Family Guy” largely lived up to his own prophecy - at least judging by traditional media - that he could be deemed the worst host in Oscar history.

Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield said MacFarlane appeared like a “bumbling rookie” and “few ideas could have been stupider” than turning the Academy Awards into a “Seth MacFarlane variety special.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which campaigns against anti-Semitism, said it was “sad and disheartening” that the Academy Awards show had “sought to use age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs.”

The group pointed to a sketch in which MacFarlane’s puppet bear Ted remarked to the A-list crowd at the Dolby Theatre that it’s better to be Jewish if you want to work in Hollywood.

“When one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact,” ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement on Monday.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.