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!
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • 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.