Sexist? Worst Oscar Host Ever? Seth MacFarlane Was Actually Good

By Mack Rawden 2013-02-25 11:56:55discussion comments
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Remember that hysterical clip that made the rounds a few years back of Cardinals coach Dennis Green repeatedly bellowing, ďThey are who we thought they were!Ē after his team blew a late lead against the Chicago Bears? Well, if last night proved nothing else, itís Seth MacFarlane is exactly who we thought. Heís a pompous douche with a shit-eating grin, a razor sharp wit and a sometimes sophomoric sense of humor. Personally, I think thatís a good thing. Maybe you think otherwise. Ordinarily, I would agree to disagree, but considering all of the hogwash Iíve read today about how MacFarlane was apparently a) sexist and b) one of the worst hosts ever, I canít hold my tongue anymore because both of those statements are just factually wrong.

First of all, last nightís ceremony was not sexist because thereís a major difference between jokes being made at the expense of women and jokes being made specifically to put women down. Let me give you an example of the difference. Late in the ceremony, MacFarlane joked that Maya from Zero Dark Thirty was the perfect person to spend twelve years catching bin Laden because women are incapable of letting things go. Is that a stereotype? Yes. But is it a stereotype that is keeping little girls from getting jobs or feeling good about themselves? No. Itís just a funny quirk that a sizable percentage of women share, and if you donít believe me, think about the random things your mom still brings up.

Now, let me give you an example of a joke thatís legitimately sexist. If MacFarlane had said, ďRemember that scene in Zero Dark Thirty when Mayaís female co-worker was so excited to see her source that she decided to ignore protocols, and it had disastrous consequences? This is why we shouldnít trust hormonal women to make major decisions at work.Ē Now, that joke, that one would not only sexist, itís dangerous because itís bullshit stances on womenís perceived competence related to their emotions that actually have a tangible effect on hiring in the workplace.

Itís that type of bullshit that keeps little girls from shooting for the stars. Thatís the shit we need to weed out, not jokes about women holding grudges. Those arenít any different than jokes about men being incapable of multi-tasking, being lazy, couch-glued bums and being incapable of bonding with each other on levels beyond surface time-sharing.

Second of all, MacFarlane is not the worst Oscar host in history. In fact, heís not even close. You know why I can say that with certainty? Because unlike the majority of critics who despised his so-called antics, an extremely high percentage of readers actually loved it. Comments on places like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and underneath many of the articles here on Cinema Blend have been glowing from happy viewers who are stoked that for once, Hollywood picked a host for the people who actually attend movies rather than for members of the Hollywood elite who typically decide on someone who can most aggressively pat themselves on the back. Newsflash: more people saw Ted than Beasts Of The Southern Wild, and itís not even close.

For the sake of argument, letís say half of the people who watched thought MacFarlane was total shit (that number is too high) and half of the people who watched thought MacFarlane was great (that number is too low), from any angle you want to measure, thatís better than at least 98% (that number is also too low) of people who thought James Franco was terrible. Thatís not even an opinion. Thatís like a math proof. Thatís the great thing about Twitter and Facebook. Itís never been easier to tell when critics and viewers disagree, and this is a prime example of that.

Did MacFarlane remind me of Bob Hope last night? No, he didnít. No one (credible) is arguing heís the best Oscar host in history, but you know something, he was actually pretty good. Unlike many of my fellow critics, I actually smiled at his boobs song, and especially Jennifer Lawrenceís fist pound. Unlike many of my fellow critics, I didnít bat an eye at any of his so-called sexist jokes. Unlike some of my fellow critics, I donít go into ceremonies ready to pounce on anything that could be considered wrong. I go into ceremonies looking for things that are right, and more often than not, MacFarlane was good last night.

I donít know whether Seth will ever be invited back to host, but if this is his only appearance, heíll leave me with far more positive than negative memories. And fortunately for him, the majority of Oscar viewers agree with me.
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