The Oscars gets bro-tastic

Seth MacFarlane put on quite the show last night hosting the Oscars. For a show that could use a dose of relevant humor, he chose a different path–making, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and sizist jokes. And beyond being offensive, they weren’t very funny either–instead awkward and uncomfortable, throwing off the tenor of the Oscars.

The opener, a song about actor lady “boobs” as they can be seen in movies, could have quite possibly been the “creative” concept that the rest of the show aligned around.

Now that you’ve sat through that, imagine watching the whole awards ceremony! BuzzFeed Shift put together a list of 9 sexist things they picked up on during the show.

In the face of this tacky framing, some shining moments included performances from Jennifer Hudson, Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbara Streisand and even cameo from the First Lady Michelle Obama to present the award for best picture of the year. And while I hadn’t seen most of the movies that were nominated or won, it was great to see Invisible War and How to Survive a Plague nominated for best documentary (even though neither won, which is sad since they are both very important).

But back to the humor. As a feminist committed to funny, I’m not even that upset about the topics of MacFarlane’s jokes, as I am the way he frames them. In my opinion, the most effective comedy is comedy that “punches up,” so if you find yourself continually falling back on cliched stereotypes, you are either an asshole or have a creative block. (Don’t think it’s possible to be funny and not just make fun of the underdog? Think again.)

UPDATE: The Onion issued an apology.

Apparently, the Onion suffered a similar creative block, 

Well, that’s not funny, really at all. Since, she’s 9 and so that makes her a child and children shouldn’t be called sexist epithets. There were other jokes to be made here, maybe even ones she could have laughed at–BUT NO.

Jokes aside, we here are #teamquvenzhane all day, everyday.

 photo Quvenzhaneacute-Wallis_zps643b9a5b.gif

Join the Conversation

  • atheist

    I think when the “boobs” song started was when I began to tune out the Oscars. I hate stupid stuff.

  • Josh

    The Onion tweet was pretty vile, thankfully they took the mask off and apologized for crossing the line. (as per always, don’t read the comments)

  • eric

    It sounds like you came out ready to pounce on ANYTHING McFarlane did and watching with that mindset you didn’t get that the opening bit was a satire of hollywood appealing to the male gaze. Admittedly his jokes toward the end became more mean spirited but as a whole he was not nearly as awful as everyone wanted him to and hoped he would be.

    • eric

      It was also meant to be self deprecating towards him. It’s critic shielding self-awareness but self-awareness has become scarce with public figures (and people in general) these days.

    • Cassidy

      Considering that just the song about boobs reduced depictions of female bodies during or related to sexual violence in the films he listed (four, one was a reference to the depiction of a transgender man after being sexually assaulted, and the mention of Scarlett Johansson was about nude photographs that were stolen from her) to “we saw your boobs!”, I think it’s a littler generous to call his performance self deprecating or “not nearly as awful” as anything else. Implying that this backlash is an overreaction is inconsiderate

  • scottishtanningsecrets

    Given what little I’ve seen of Family Guy, I was bracing myself for Seth MacFarlane to do something like this. I do think Anne Hathaway had a great mention of combating violence against women at the end of her speech: “Here’s hoping that sometime in the not-so-distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and not in real life.” Thanks also for putting up the stories about Jennifer Lawrence’s masterful handling of ridiculous interview questions and Charlize Theron helping the security guard. I don’t think McFarlane should be let off the hook merely because the world has come to expect these things from him, but at the same time we shouldn’t let the low points overshadow the many talented female artists who were honored.

  • Datdamwuf

    the boob song was slut shaming, sickening

    • honeybee

      Shame on all those actresses for participating in it! Charlize in particular I was surprised to see so complicit.