There is so much outrage this morning all over the Internets about what a sexist dunderhead Seth MacFarlane was as host of the Oscars last night. We don’t live in a world, sadly, where we can have Amy Poehler and Tina Fey host everything. But to be honest with you, I think MacFarlane did a pretty decent job considering he was hosting the most important, sacred, revered night of the year, according to all of the fancy self-important Hollywood people. It can’t be an easy job. You have to sing. You have to make jokes. You have to go with the flow and deal with award winners going over their allotted time. I don’t think MacFarlane was the most amazing Oscar host, but I don’t take issue with so much of what it seems like everyone else is taking issue with.
The “We Saw Your Boobs” song. It took place after the watershed, so it wasn’t like people should be scandalized by the fact their toddlers saw it, because most kids of a certain age should have been in bed by that time anyway. The song was goofy, and dumb, but I feel like it made a very interesting point about women and women in film and how they are depicted. You may be an amazing, talented, award-winning actress, but at the end of the day, all a lot of the general public cares about is the fact we got to see your naked breasts at some point in your career. No one forced any of these women to take their tops off in these movies. They were well-compensated for it. Their “bravery” for stripping down was applauded. Seth was just pointing out a simple fact: no matter how hard a woman works at a role and no matter how many awards she receives for her work, the general public still scours the internet for topless pics of her. We need more roles for women. We need more women directors, and more women screenwriters, and more stories about women told by women that hopefully don’t have a plot point that features a woman taking her shirt off. Sometimes an actor taking their top off is relevant to the story, but if we had more more women in Hollywood deciding if and when these cinematic moments were relevant, we could probably see a montage of male celebrities pretending to look offended as Melissa McCarthy sings a song featuring male actors entitled “You Dropped Your Trou” in the future.
The bit where Seth MacFarlane hits on Sally Field while wearing a nun costume. I have no idea why people found this so offensive. Yeah, it wasn’t that funny but I found it sort of refreshing that it showed a gorgeous older actress getting hit on by the host. It would have been annoying and commonplace had he been hitting on some young starlet, but having him make a buffoon of himself hitting on Sally Field was a better choice. There are many amazingly gorgeous older actresses in Hollywood. I found it refreshing that one of them was showcased rather than one of her younger, more obvious associates. And while we are at it, speaking of gorgeous older women, as a feminist I believe that women have the right to look however they want, they own their own bodies and have the right to do whatever they want with them, but part of me is appalled at the surgical stylings and intensive facial buffering of the legendary Barbara Streisand. At 70-years-old there is nothing about her than even suggests she appreciates her age or her identity. She is botoxed and enhanced within an inch of her life. We have women working in Hollywood, beautiful women like Helen Mirren and Judi Dench, who are all in the same age range as Streisand. I’m sure both of these actresses have had something done, but these somethings don’t include so much surgery that they are trying to appear the same age as the cast of Glee.
The Chris Brown joke he made when describing Django Unchained. “This is a story of unthinkable violence 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.” Everyone has made jokes about Chris Brown and his habits of getting punchy with Rihanna. It’s not like Seth was the first person to crack this joke. Domestic violence isn’t funny, but pointing out the absurdity of Rihanna continuing to date this asshole is. She is a gorgeous, talented, young woman who for some reason feels the need to be with this man who has abused her in the past and continues threatening other women in public. This is how abusive relationships work, that even though we all know she could do so much better and we all hope she is able to break free from whatever Stockholm Syndrome charm Brown holds over her, it won’t happen until she can get some therapy exploring why she would choose to be with him. It’s not easy leaving an abusive relationship. Ask any woman who has been in one. Seth wasn’t making fun of Rihanna, he was just reminding everyone of the fact that her boyfriend once beat her so badly that she ended up in the hospital. I think the public should never let Chris Brown forget this fact.
The Ted Bear asking Mark Wahlberg where the “Big Hollywood orgy” was and Wahlberg quipping it was at “Jack Nicholson‘s house.” I don’t know if a lot of people caught that thinly veiled reference, or if MacFarlane penned that joke himself, and as much as I’m a fan of Jack Nicholson I think this joke was more a pointed reminder at the fact that Roman Polanski raped a 13-year-old girl at Nicholson’s house, even though reports say that Jack wasn’t home at the time. I’m not sure why people are offended at this, because it’s a true fact, no matter what Whoppi Goldberg has said that it wasn’t “rape – rape.” I think Hollywood and its ilk should always be reminded of this, no matter how many movies Polanski makes or how many fancy Hollywood people sign a petition to “Free Polanski.”
I can agree that some of the other “jokes” he made regarding race and ethnicity were just ignorant and dumb, but I wasn’t as offended as a lot of people were by the above things I spoke about. I think Seth did a fine job overall, because let’s face it, it’s not like it’s the easiest job in the world. I hope next year we have a female host and we have a lot more movies written, directed and starring women in them. Until then, it was just another Oscar night. Too long, not enough Quvenzhané Wallis. And if we want to get really offended by something, may I suggest this?
A nine-year-old amazingly beautiful and talented girl being called a see you next Tuesday by a popular parody humour website. That’s something we should all be furious about.
Update: At least The Onion has made an apology on Facebook:
I still think using that sort of word to describe a kid is lame, but at least they have acknowledged it wasn’t a super cool thing to do.
(Images: Twitter& WENN)