A Defense of Seth Macfarlane From Left and Right Media
Klavan On The Culture
The first of the two is misguided. He misses the point that there is nothing inappropriate about any of MacFarlane's material per se. What was inappropriate was the context. MacFarlane, Anthony Jeselnick, Jeff Ross and others routinely do much more insulting material than this, and people love it! Offending people is what they do!
But the Oscar telecast is not a roast.
The author says, "Would Lenny Bruce or Sam Kinison even be allowed to get off the ground today? Or would they be booed off the stage on open mic night before we ever had a chance to see their 'insensitive' genius?"
Of course they would succceed. Kinison and Carlin would be even more popular today than they were in their own days. They would be stars on HBO or Comedy Central with Ross, Jeselnick, Gilbert Gottfried, Amy Schumer, Lisa Lampanelli and other edgy types.
But they would not be asked to host the Oscars.
Kinison and Carlin were also not asked to host the Oscars in their own era. (But, damn, Carlin would have kicked some serious ass in that job.)
Having said all that, I'll note that Seth MacFarlane has hosted three of the Comedy Central roasts (Hasselhoff, Trump and Sheen). Roasting is kinda his thing, and the Academy knew that when they hired him, so everyone should have been expecting him to offend and insult people. And he did.
So there's that.
The other defense is also seriously flawed in some respects.
"There’s not one nude scene in motion pictures that is dramatically essential."
Get real. Without giving it any thought, I can name two flicks where nudity is dramatically necessary: The Crying Game and Boys Don't Cry.
Despite what I have written above, I have reconsidered my position about MacFarlane's hosting job. Always judge a man by the character of his enemies. If both left wingnuts and right wingnuts are upset with him, he must have done it right.
I haven't read the articles you've linked to yet, but just wanted to note that we watched the Oscars at the USA Film Festival's official Oscar-watching party at Studio Movie Grill, on a big screen with a crowd of local film industry types. There were a few "Ewws!", but mostly big laughs and applause throughout. Most people understood what Seth was doing: he was making fun of his of own image as much as anything, doing an edgy joke then saying, "Oh, we were afraid he'd do something like that," or the "We Saw Your Boobs" song as an example of the type of tasteless thing people feared he'd do that would make him the worst host ever.
If you really want to read something so utterly devoid of humor that it will make you feel as if your soul has been sucked out of your body orifices, read the review of the show at the New Yorker by some feminist writer whose name I blessedly can't recall. According to her, Seth's little jokes at the Oscars did to women what the staff of Buckenwald did to the Jews. She's one of those idiots who actually thought the joke about the little girl from "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was about raping a nine-year-old, not a joke about George Clooney only dating 20-year-olds. She actually proved two anti-woman stereotypes, that women don't understand comedy writing and can't do math.
And I love that even over a week later, when most people have forgotten that little awards show and gone on with life, Jamie Lee Curtis (we saw her boobs in "Trading Places," where it was dramatically essential that she stand in front of a mirror so that we could four of them) wrote an offended op-ed, Gena Davis denounced Seth, and two female California legislators sent a letter to the Academy, demanding that they denounce their own host.
Geez, Seth was right: women NEVER let anything go.
On the same topic, whining that award show jokes you don't like are sexist, even Tina and Amy are getting it now:
If Taylor Swift doesn't want people making jokes about her love life, maybe she could try not filling her albums with whiny songs about it.