We Saw Your Boob, and He Is Named Seth MacFarlane

Dear Academy Awards Producers–

biggest boob of the nightDid you think the name, “Academy Awards” sounded too generic or uninteresting, so you should “update” it to “The Oscars?” Are you now concerned that your rebranding campaign has only one major cultural reference point, that of the disastrous emceeing job by Seth MacFarlane? Did the new name of “Oscar” make you think that audiences wanted the ceremony to channel the sloppy mind of a chauvinist? Perhaps you forgot that Oscar from the show The Odd Couple wasn’t actually a complete asshole?

Did you really think that the “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number was funny or in any way original? Did a feeling resembling shame even darken your hearts when you asked actresses in the audience to pretend to be embarrassed or humiliated? Were those shots ahead of time any indication at all that maybe this was too offensive for an awards show meant to highlight the best moments of Hollywood in the previous year? Was there even one moment in rehearsal or the planning meetings in which you wondered if this would cross a line for viewers or the people who have given their lives to your industry? Or were you just so taken with the idea that rambunctious young men may tune into your show over Sunday night reruns? Did anyone dare to mention, if only at a whisper, while writing the lyrics to this number, that maybe including four rape scenes in the “boobs” lineup might not be in the best taste? Maybe only for the films that were based on real life rapes? 

Was it William Shatner who phoned in to tell you that the public would be incensed by MacFarlane’s misogyny, anti-Semitism, anti-Hispanic racism, or pedophile-baiting jokes, or did he get the short straw to include him in the telecast as from the future, revealing the near-certain anger from the national audience? Was he the only actor in town who could pull off this cameo without vomiting? Did you think presenting the probable reaction would somehow get you off the hook? Were you surprised when people ran the fake headlines as real headlines on Monday morning, or was that part of your plan?

Did you vet the Quvenzhané Wallis joke with George Clooney beforehand, or was this comment by Seth some kind of revenge for never having appeared in an “Ocean’s” film? Was it solely Seth’s idea to toss a bottle of whiskey to Clooney during the ceremony, or did you think that alcohol would be an even better context for suggesting that Wallis was just about Clooney’s allowable age for dating partners? Speaking of young girls and old Hollywood power brokers, did you design the joke about Jack Nicholson’s house to refer to Roman Polanski’s rape of a 13-year-old, which happened at the same house, or was that just coinkidink? Did you feed the nasty C-word Tweet to staff at The Onion or was that just another happy dovetail of bad humor? Do you think we all wish you would have come out with your own apology for the nasty awards show that you produced?

When you all wrote the joke about Hispanic accents and attractive Latin bodies, were there only white non-Hispanic men in the room? Did you actively fantasize about Selma Hayek slapping the crap out of Seth, and would you have been ecstatic if that had occurred on live television? Did the line about Rihanna and Chris Brown come up after one of you remembered to include African Americans in the comedy set, since only two of them were nominated this year by your body of 94% white members? Did turning a problematic movie about slavery into a laugh about domestic violence make you feel giddy at your power to control images, narratives, and popular culture?

When Jennifer Lawrence tripped up the stairs to receive the highest honor in her profession for acting, did you hope to see her boobs? Were you angry that her after-the-ceremony interview was 1,000 times more interesting, down-to-earth, accessible, and hilarious than anything you staged during the 3.5 hours you had to captivate the country? Did it pique your curiosity in the slightest that the biggest rounds of applause during the event were for Shirley Bassey, Adele, Barbara Streisand, and Meryl Streep, four women you couldn’t include in Seth’s song and who have in their own right generated decades of interest and and fan followings not predicated on sloppy frat-boy antics?

Did you ever admit, even to yourselves when you’re all alone with nobody to guffaw at stupid off-color jokes, that you’re actually afraid to try hard enough to provide a quality show that doesn’t feel the need to offend entire classes of people in order to entertain a small segment of viewers?

Because that seems pretty clear to me.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Pop Culture


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

6 Comments on “We Saw Your Boob, and He Is Named Seth MacFarlane”

  1. March 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I mean, what did they expect from the writer of Family Guy and American Dad? Obviously he has limited capabilities. Well done, Everett. I love the style.

  2. March 6, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    “Did you ever admit, even to yourselves when you’re all alone with nobody to guffaw at stupid off-color jokes, that you’re actually afraid to try hard enough to provide a quality show that doesn’t feel the need to offend entire classes of people in order to entertain a small segment of viewers?”

    I agree, chosing MacFarlane was the equivalent of openly flying the black flag of the Dudebro Industrial Complex. But I am feeling cynical about this – no doubt in part informed by the ishery going on around the *F*eminist response to Quvenzhane Wallis’ having been slurred and insulted so horrifically (sorry to be missing the accent in her name!) – and I am not sure fear was the motivator. Or at least, not fear of trying hard and taking risks.

    At this point, it’s demonstrably bs that movies with POC leads, directed by women, with *ahem* “women centered” stories that *aren’t* romances, won’t do well artistically and at the box office. And think of all of the movie franchises or potential franchises that have taken heat & suffered at the box office b/c of white-washing (I’m thinking of “Avatar” and “Akira” here). Not to mention the notable flopping of seemingly dudebrotastic stuff like “American Reunion”, “Battleship” and “The Watch”. It seems to me that most of the larger companies have the resources to front a more diverse offering, and who can turn a blind eye to the fact that part of the reason that (ex) the likes of Joss Whedon or JJ Abrams CAN reboot a defunct franchise is precisely b/c they have some dedication to dialogue and diversity. Not to say their work is above reproach, but it’s MILES from Dudebro Prime Micheal Bay!

    It reads to me like the fear that drives out and out intentional backlash. The fear that makes those who do not want to lose their power and privilege work double-extra-overtime to make sure everyone stays in their “proper station”.

    • irishup
      March 6, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      *to clarify, that’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, not Cameron’s Avatar.

    • evmaroon
      March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Yes, perhaps it wasn’t fear, per se, on the producers’ part. But empty angry jokes at the expense of marginalized groups, in my opinion, are easy and lazy. The bigger challenge is finding a way to entertain a mass audience (12 million people +) that relies on something more sophisticated, an ability to self-deprecate–which Seth lacks completely–or that could, dare I suggest, a capacity to laugh at the very means of production that Hollywood relies on and that could open up a space for the juggernaut of moviemaking to actually improve itself. So sure, I call them afraid, but that doesn’t really get at it. These two producers in question like and rely on their institutionalized power. Blargh.


  1. Best and Worst Pop Culture Moments of 2013 | Trans/plant/portation - December 16, 2013

    […] an awards show with a spotty history toward women and people of color, and live television? You get the Oscars as hosted by Seth MacFarlane, with the most sexist dance number anyone can remember. And then the cutest kid in Hollywood who […]

  2. Humor as Discomfort | Trans/plant/portation - January 13, 2015

    […] couple of years ago I picked apart Seth MacFarlane’s performance as emcee of the Academy Awards for his blatant and frequent sexist and racist comments. I wondered openly […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: