As the fury over Seth MacFarlane's Academy Awards hosting gig starts to settle down, the Academy itself isn't abandoning MacFarlane, even as he becomes the latest Hollywood product to be condemned by lawmakers.
MacFarlane has become the Zero Dark Thirty of Oscar hosts as the leadership of the California State Legislative Women's Caucus—Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal and State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson—sent a letter to the Academy's president, Hawk Koch, wherein they publicly lambasted MacFarlane's performance for sexism and for making light of violence against women: "On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane's monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself." They asked the Academy to "disavow such behavior and commit to using better judgment in their future choices of content and hosts." They join the chorus of writers who criticized MacFarlane's misogynistic act in the days following the ceremony. But the Academy itself is just shrugging its shoulders, arguing for MacFarlane on the basis of creative license.
In a statement to The Wrap an Academy spokeswoman said today: "If the Oscars are about anything, they're about creative freedom." Adding: "We think the show's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and host Seth MacFarlane did a great job and we hope our worldwide audience found the show entertaining."
That response isn't going over too well:
The Academy is so full of crap. This isn't a freedom of speech thing, it's a supporting a sexist, unfunny jerk thing thewrap.com/awards/column-…— Alex Leo (@AlexMLeo) February 28, 2013
@alexmleo Thing the Academy is also full of: old white males— Meredith Blake (@MeredithBlake) February 28, 2013
Of course the male dominated Academy defended the misogynistic Seth MacFarlane-What do they care if women are upset? movies.yahoo.com/news/academy-d…— Sadhbh Walshe (@SadhbhWalshe) February 28, 2013
Indeed, as an Los Angeles Times study found last year the Academy is overwhelmingly made up of old white guys.
There is likely no satisfying resolution to this saga. The ceremony will go down in history for all the people it offended (and, of course, for Jennifer Lawrence's fall). MacFarlane himself hasn't commented seriously on the allegations, just throwing out some one liners on Twitter and thanking fans.
Meanwhile, the funny lady that everyone wants to host the Oscars next year went on Letterman last night to destroy all hopes of that.