I’ve never been accused of being a girly-girl. While I had a deep-seated love for Cabbage Patch Kids and boy bands as a child, (and yeah, the boy band thing may not have gone away,) I dressed up as a hockey player in third grade when other girls were princesses. I was trying to play quarterback when my classmates were playing cheerleader. I panic at the thought of shopping, have to consciously stop myself from using the word “fuck” while talking to co-workers and “new people,” as I call them, and some of my favorite jokes are ones that cannot be told in polite company. (Which is a good thing, given my choice of husband and friends.) (Seriously, we keep a list on our fridge of “Things That Have Never Been Said Before,” that actually have been said at my house. Most of them are not repeatable.)
Keeping the above in mind, I was ecstatic that Seth MacFarlane was hosting the Oscars. (My non-girliness does not extend to awards shows. I love awards shows. Fucking LOVE them. All the dresses and hair and the shoes and the red carpet and the excitement and the famous people. Can’t get enough.) I looked forward to them more than I had in years – because seriously? The hosts always try to make some jokes about the attendees, and they always seem to fall flat – Billy Crystal excepted – because everyone is so afraid of offending someone or stepping over the line. But Seth MacFarlane, who makes fun of everyone, exploits every weakness, and isn’t afraid to drop an f-bomb here or there? He would be fabulous!
And I thought he was. Sure, he teeter-tottered on that tightrope of offensiveness, but for the most part, I thought he did a great job of not going overboard while simultaneously keeping what’s normally a tedious couple of hours entertaining. So I was somewhat surprised at the backlash he received the following day, being called misogynistic, sexist, racist, and culminating in the “Worst Oscars Ever.” People? You all need to calm the fuck down. Seriously. Re-fucking-lax. Take a joke.
The Salma Hayek, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz joke.
While mentioning the above three, MacFarlane joked, ““We have no idea what they’re saying but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.” Um, hello? Every single time Penelope Cruz is on TV, I’m all, “What? What did she say?” I can’t understand her. Does it make her stupid? Absolutely not. Does it make her any less of a phenomenal actress? No. Does it take away from her award-winning performances? Negative. Same with Bardem and Hayek. All he did was find the possibility of a flaw in three of the most beautiful people on the planet and exploited it. Did anyone come after Ellen DeGeneres after this commercial where she tells Sofia Vergara, “That’s because no one can understand you.” NO. Why was this different?
The Abraham Lincoln Joke.
While talking about the film “Lincoln,” MacFarlane remarked, “This is interesting, Daniel Day-Lewis is not the first actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln. Raymond Massey portrayed him in 1940’s “Abe Lincoln In Illinois.” This is true. I would argue, however, that the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” Much of the audience waited a beat before groaning in disgust and I thought the host’s response of, “Is 150 years too soon?” was hilarious. C’mon, Hollywood. You’re going to gasp in disapproval and be all offended? You know if you were on your couch at home and not on the camera you would have laughed. It. Was. Funny. How many people do you think started to laugh and then when they heard the murmur of disapproval changed their minds and shook their heads? I bet it was a lot.
This is perhaps MacFarlane’s most maligned number of the night. Short version, he sang a song highlighting several women who have been topless in various films, and the reaction from some of those mentioned? Was not positive, to put it mildly. Um, ladies? We did see your boobs. You can call it art, you can call it acting, you can defend it in the name of your craft all you want. You still showed your tits in front of a camera, for millions of people to see. Does that mean it’s degrading, or not artistic, or distasteful? No. But you still showed your boobs. I promise you, Seth MacFarlane is not the only person that internally giggles when he sees you and thinks, all Beavis and Butthead style, “Heh. I’ve seen her boobs.” And if you didn’t consider that possibility, you’re kind of dumb. And the fact that these women, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, actually took the time to write a letter to the academy, stating that MacFarlane’s jokes, “reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” makes me think that politicians in California? Probably need some more focus. Seriously, folks, these are Hollywood actresses. And please don’t get me wrong here – I’m honestly not downplaying their accomplishments or talents, or fabulous boobs, for that matter – but honestly? An enormous portion of these women’s collective success is based on their phenomenal looks. And I promise you, they got paid a substantial amount more for showing their knockers than if they’d refused. If you don’t want people to mention they’ve seen your boobs – don’t show your fucking boobs. It’s quite simple, really.
In short? Get over yourselves, Hollywood. You’re not classy anymore, and if we dig down deep enough, you really haven’t ever been. There’s always been scandals and sex tapes and cheating and mysterious deaths and tragic downfalls and profanity and nastiness and cover-ups. And if you don’t want that exposed on your big, shining, celebratory evening where you all act like you’re the bestest of friends and you wouldn’t stab your tablemate with a salad fork if you thought it would get you a better role? Don’t ask someone who has made their living saying what everyone else is too afraid to say to be your host for the evening.
Cheers to you, Seth MacFarlane. I thought you were great.