Seth too much?

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Seth too much?

Critics blasted Oscars host Seth MacFarlane on Monday for “crudely sexist antics” and peddling “offensive” Jewish stereotypes, as the Academy Awards post mortem got into full swing.

By (AFP, Reuters)

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Published: Wed 27 Feb 2013, 9:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:21 AM

Others said the Family Guy creator, brought in to appeal to younger viewers with edgy humour, was simply dull .

“Well, that didn’t work,” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ television critic at the start of a full-page review of the more than three-hour 85th Academy Awards.

“Despite the valiant efforts of Adele, Barbra Streisand and a surprisingly witty Daniel Day-Lewis... (the show) was long, self-indulgent and dull even by the show’s time-honoured dull-defining standards,” she wrote.

MacFarlane, also the creator of potty-mouthed bear star Ted, was part of the latest attempt by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to shed its old-fashioned image, while maintaining its Tinseltown prestige.

Indeed, the opening segment of the show riffed on whether MacFarlane would do a good job as Oscars host — with Star Trek star William Shatner appearing in character by videolink from the 23rd century, to tell him how badly it had gone.

Critics said the section was over-long, too self-referencing — and notably blasted a song called “We Saw Your B****,” which listed the actresses who had appeared topless on screen.

“Watching the Oscars last night meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane,” wrote culture bible The New Yorker.

“That would be tedious enough. But the evening’s misogyny involved a specific hostility to women in the workplace... It was unattractive and sour.”

Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield said MacFarlane appeared like a “bumbling rookie” and “few ideas could have been stupider” than turning the Academy Awards into a “Seth MacFarlane variety special.”

A sketch with Ted provoked some of the harshest criticism. The bear appeared with his big-screen buddy actor Mark Wahlberg, and made a series of jokes about getting intimate with audience members and an orgy at Jack Nicholson’s place.

In a separate row triggered by the Oscars, The Onion apologized Monday for using an offensive sexually charged word to describe nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, the youngest ever best actress nominee for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

“On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhane Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars,” said Onion chief Steve Hannah.

Sunday’s ceremony scored the biggest TV audience in three years, and MacFarlane helped boost interest from young men, despite getting a mauling from TV critics.

Nielsen ratings data on Monday showed that 40.3 million Americans watched the Academy Awards ceremony on ABC television, up three per cent from 2012. ABC said it was the largest Oscar audience in three years.

Boosted by a bumper box office crop of movies and intrigue over MacFarlane’s debut as Oscar host, the show grew 11 per cent in the 18-49 year-old audience most coveted by advertisers, and by 34 per cent in 18-34 year-old men compared to 2012.


MacFarlane largely lived up to his own prophecy - at least judging by traditional media - that he could be deemed the worst host in Oscar history.

He fared better on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, where 13 per cent declared him the “best host ever”, according to conversations tracked by social media research firm Fizziology.

And MacFarlane didn’t win over the online world just because of his wit. Seven per cent said he was “the sexiest” host, Fizziology said on Monday.

Hank Stuever of the Washington Post said that MacFarlane “did a fairly middle-of-the-road job as host on a fairly middle-of-the-road telecast.”

ABC, a unit of Walt Disney, also reported growth to its online and social media platforms, saying that its website had attracted 15.8 million visitors since the Academy Award nominations were announced in early January - a 28 per cent increase over 2012.

Last year, when Billy Crystal hosted for the ninth time, some 39.3 million people watched the Oscars ceremony on television.

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