I suppose there are families out there who sit down and watch the Academy Awards together. They each fill out a ballot and compete for accuracy. They fix movie-themed snacks and ignore bedtimes for just one night. They get all excited over the pomp and pageantry. I am so sorry for those families at the moment. Because this year’s Oscars were anything but family-friendly. In fact, my most frequent thought during this year’s awards were, “Thank Heavens my daughter is in bed already.”
First the Superbowl had a racy element that I disliked exposing my little girl to, and now the Academy Awards are so full of misogyny that it’s difficult to imagine explaining it all to my daughter.
During the show opening, host Seth McFarlane sang an entire song about seeing famous actresses’ breasts in their movies. Because obviously, it’s not their talent or dedication anyone needs to celebrate at an awards show. It’s the simple fact that they’ve done a sex scene.
I watched the whole thing trying to think about what the male equivalent to this song would have been. An entire song reducing the actors to the abs? Have we seen enough male back-sides to fill a song? My little thought experiment is really an exercise in futility, because no one would ever consider it funny to stand in front of talented actors and tell them that the only thing we care about is their bodies.
“I Saw Your Boobs” was just beginning of MacFarlane’s most offensive Oscars in quite a while. There was the, “Women just be holdin’ grudges,” bit when he talked about Jessica Chastain. There was the charming comment about just how long Quvenzhane Wallis would be young enough to date George Clooney. We had the obligatory Chris Brown and Rihanna bit.
To be fair, MacFarlane’s offensiveness wasn’t just directed at women. He threw in some obnoxious gay jokes, some inappropriate race jokes, and even a little bit about Nazis. MacFarlane was trying so very hard to be edgy that he left no bit of political correctness off the table. From fat-shaming to ageism, it was all in there.
But honestly, the sexism was just so prevalent, I was left sad by a night that’s supposed to be fun. I didn’t feel like we celebrated much of anything, even though there were a lot of really amazing movies up for awards. Last night, we watched Seth MacFarlane impersonate Ricky Gervais’s Golden Globes performance, except with less punchlines. We also watched him guarantee that the Oscars becomes another big prime time event that no one wants their young children staying up late for.
Oh well. At least we have Quvenzhane Wallis.