I’m no meteorologist; I’m not sure at exactly what point a storm becomes a tropical storm, or a tropical storm becomes a hurricane.
It’s safe to say, however, that after Sunday’s Oscars, the storm in a teacup over Seth MacFarlane’s hosting has developed as far as being an apocalyptic, end-of-days shitfest that threatens to crush all of journalism down to a MacFarlane-hating singularity.
Three days A.A.A (that’s “After Academy Awards” for those who aren’t in the loop with recently made up acronyms) people are queuing up to jump on the “Seth MacFarlane is a sexist pig” bandwagon; the New York Times has weighed in, as did the New Statesman in the UK. MacFarlane’s IMDb page, meanwhile, is the usual cage full of monkeys throwing feces at each other, with angry feminists and angry sexists arguing until their caps lock buttons are worn down to a nub.
With all of this going on, isn’t it about time we gained some perspective?
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The leading argument, from what I’ve seen, is that MacFarlane’s opening song about seeing the breasts of various female celebrities was sexist and degrading to those involved.
It was also probably more accurate than most people would care to admit.
Men (and gay women) like to see the boobs of attractive female movie stars. If you’re new to this phenomenon, welcome. This is Earth. The bins go out on Friday.
MacFarlane’s glorying in the exposure of actresses isn’t anything that doesn’t happen every day, in conversations amongst men everywhere. “That film is pretty good, AND an attractive actress is naked in it!” is a conversation we’ve all had.
In an attempt to bring you bleeding-edge journalism, here’s a major scoop: women do it too. It’s the reason we still have those Diet Coke adverts where a guy takes his top off. It has to be, as Diet Coke is awful; it tastes like disappointment on a rainy day. I’m pretty sure it only exists as a product to give the buff and stubbly a series of adverts to appear in.
I’ve personally been in a room where intelligent, hard working women with good self esteem have discussed the film “Magic Mike” in terms of it being a great film where hot guys strip off.
So we all like to see attractive members of the opposite sex naked. Hurrah. This isn’t news.
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All Seth MacFarlane has done in his Oscar opening is take something we all know and make a song about it, which shouldn’t draw undue fire.
Some of MacFarlane’s material in the rest of the show was sexist, some of it was childish, some of it wasn’t funny and some of it ticked all of those boxes. That’s allowed, and if you feel that strongly about it, you’re well within your rights to not buy Family Guy boxed sets or watch any of his shows.
What’s most frustrating about this whole “scandal” is that it calls attention to things that really, really don’t matter. It was an awards ceremony for people who are beautiful and wealthy to congratulate each other on how talented they are. The fact that the votes for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are cast by a panel of people who are overwhelmingly male is surely far more sexist than Seth MacFarlane talking about Meryl Streep’s knockers? It’s fine to be up in arms about the generally shitty treatment of women, but shouldn’t we be focusing on the women who are getting the shit kicked out of them by their husbands on council estates, rather than leaping to the defense of millionairesses who got paid a fortune to willingly expose their norks?
There are women forced into prostitution all over the world who don’t have a lot of say in where they take their clothes off, and certainly aren’t making a half-million dollars for a two-second flash like Halle Berry did in “Swordfish.” Even when actresses do strip off for a role, they have the option of hiring a body double to make themselves look better. The fact that Julia Roberts used someone else’s legs on the poster for “Pretty Woman” isn’t offensive on a sexist level so much as it is on a basic, human level. The idea that, in a film about a poor hooker being rescued by a rich guy, an unknown actress with good legs was paid by a rich movie studio to show off her body uncredited is almost too “meta” for me to handle. But I digress.
Seth MacFarlane has a childish sense of humour. Some people were offended by jokes at the expense of people who really don’t need defending. During a broadcast that has a statistically infinitesimal chance of affecting its viewers directly as people.
Can we all get over it now? If not, how about you give the price of a Family Guy DVD to Shelter, and then stop giving me a headache.
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