I didn’t watch the Oscars. I wasn’t in the mood to see the creator of Family Guy’s take on 2012’s best films. Not that I’m above crude humor. I wish I was, but I’ve come to believe laughing at poop jokes becomes involuntary in the presence of the Y chromosome. It’s something I live with… in moderation.
My reason for not watching was simple. If a night is to be a celebration of the craft of filmmaking, it should be hosted by someone who has demonstrated even the slightest understanding of that craft. MacFarlane is not that person. Someone’s who’s greatest contribution to the public discourse is sneaking Urban Dictionary references into a second rate, sophomoric cartoon series isn’t someone I want to spend an evening in my living room.
Now post-Oscars I learn I missed a real treat. I missed the validation of sexism as viable form of entertainment. Imagine if we replaced every sexist joke or skit with a racist joke or skit. MacFarlane’s career would be over.
Hollywood’s not much better than society at large in its treatment of women, but I’ve always taken pride in the role women have been allowed to play in my original craft, editing. Granted, it was only because early 20th century filmmakers thought of editing as a small step up from clerical work. By the time they realized editing was a specialized craft, women had established themselves.
Articles in the New Yorker…
The Academy is supposedly a trade group, and yet it devoted its opening number to degrading a good part of its membership.
…and Salon put a proper spin on MacFarlane’s shameful performance.
Four of the films MacFarlane crooned about featured nudity during or immediately following violent depictions of rape and sexual assault, stripped of their context and played for laughs.
So what did I do Sunday night? I watched Raging Bull, edited by Thelma Shoonmaker. I wish I could say it was purposefully symbolic, but it was just a coincidence.