[dropcap]S[/dropcap]eth MacFarlane, creator of animated television shows Family Guy and American Dad, and host of this year’s Oscars ceremony, has said that he will not be returning to helm the awards show in future. This decision follows heavy criticism of his controversial performance on the night.
MacFarlane revealed that he had no intention of hosting again in a tweeted reply to a question from one of his followers; ‘No way. Lotta fun to have done it though.’ Later, he tweeted ‘The Oscars is basically the Kobayashi Maru Test,’ in a deliciously geeky reference to an impossible exam set for students at Starfleet Academy in Star Trek.
Anyone who has ever seen an episode of one of Macfarlane’s creations will know that his sense of humour is risqué at best, so we were expecting his take on the role of Oscar host to be somewhat notorious, not to mention divisive. Still, no-one was expecting him to take things quite this far. Apart from making jokes about Jews in Hollywood and domestic violence, MacFarlane also performed a musical number with the inspiring title of ‘We Saw Your Boobs’, in which he proceeded to name a series of actresses and the titles of films in which they had appeared topless.
However, what really put the icing on the cake was the fact that some of the topless scenes in question were in fact depictions of brutal sexual assaults; Hillary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, and Jodie Foster in The Accused, for example.
The Guardian film blog referred to MacFarlane’s hosting style as ‘mean-spirited’ and described the whole evening as ‘vicious and sexist in its attempts at humour’. Many other reactions have not been nearly so restrained; the host has been slammed left right and centre in the press, including by actress Jane Fonda, who rounded up her eloquent critique with this turn of phrase: “Way too much stuff about women and bodies, as though that’s what defines us.”
While many also hit the internet to show their support of MacFarlane and his sense of humour, it seems unlikely that the Academy would ever allow him to present again following the strong backlash. In tweeting that he would never repeat the performance, he is probably just anticipating what the Academy already decided half an hour into proceedings.
What’s your opinion of MacFarlane’s performance as Oscar host? Funny, offensive, or both? Let us know your thoughts via Twitter.