Hey Oscar, Consider Tina Fey: Seth MacFarlane Offends
02/25/2013 - 17:02
Gary Rosenblatt

Most of the criticism leveled at Seth MacFarlane, the Oscars host from left field, was focused on his negative comments on women, and deservedly so.

He cracked jokes that were sexist, juvenile and racist, including a strange bit based on the premise that Jews controlled Hollywood and that you had to be Jewish to find work in the entertainment industry.

What offended me about the “Jewish” routine – a brief conversation between MacFarlane, as the voice of Ted, his teddy bear character from the movie of the same name, and actor Mark Wahlberg -- was that it had the subtlety of a blunt instrument. It just wasn’t funny.

In it, Ted noted at the outset that Alan Arkin, Joaquin Phoenix and Daniel Day-Lewis, seated in the audience, were all “part Jewish.”

“What about you?” he said to Wahlberg, “you’ve got a ‘berg,’ are you Jewish?

No, Wahlberg said, he was Catholic.

“Wrong answer, try again,” Ted stage whispered, then to the audience in full voice: “I am Jewish. I was born Theodore Shapiro. And I would like to donate money to Israel and to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you. I am Jewish.”

To which Wahlberg replied, “You’re an idiot.”

“We’ll see who’s an idiot when they give me a private plane at the next secret synagogue meeting,” Ted said.

End of routine.

It’s estimated that some two billion people witnessed this witless exchange, prompting the ADL to criticize the show sketch as “offensive and not remotely funny.” The good news is that the show was so long and, until the last few minutes, so dull, that most of those tuned in probably were either snoozing or taking a restroom break during the 50-second exchange.

Here’s hoping Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host next year.

gary@jewishweek.org

Comments

they are correct that Jews don't run Hollywood, just most of it.....

Of course Gary Rosenblatt wants Tina Fey to host the Oscars. Then she can make nasty comments about Republicans, conservatives, the Tea Party as well as Sarah Palin and George Bush. And he wont hear anything negative about his idol Barack Obama(who cares if his foreign policy is a disaster for Israel, the whole Middle East and the USA). Amy Poehler I never heard of.

My observation was that Seth was not making a joke that promoted the belief that Jews control Hollywood. I believe he made a skit making fun of those that believe that and I think there is a big difference. The voice of reason in the skit was Mark Walberg's and it was clearly communicating, "You're an idiot for thinking that way."

I felt Seth was an equal opportunity offender and that is what he does. But my observation of him that night was that he was making fun of those that thought in racist and sexist ways and not actually being racist and sexist himself, as he is not either of those things.

I am curious if this is part of the evolution of humanity. There was a day we were intrenched in these kinds of beliefs. That is very rapidly changing to the place that we are now making fun of ourselves for having ever believed it. I believe there will come a day when thought like this will be so much in our distant past that jokes like this wont even be funny. I was thinking, if he made jokes about women's right to vote, we all would have gone, "HUH??" It would not have even been funny because it is enough in our past, or we have healed enough from it that we have evolved past it. Looking forward to the day we have healed enough from some of this other stuff that we say, "HUH?" And to be honest, I that was exactly my response to the Jewish skit. I hold no wound from it anymore and so it just sounded stupid to me. But it didn't offend me as racist. Just some thoughts to share from a different perspective.

you'e all overly-sensitive

That's not a good idea, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are just as ruthless, they're man haters, it has to be all about women with them! Amy is still okay, but Tina, I don't get it, every man wants her from Bob Newhart 2 Justin Bieber, what is it with that woman, her Greek Goddess sex appeal, the harder she pulls away, the more they want her!

Although Alan Arkin is fully Jewish, not "part".

On the plus side, if they didn't already, at least they know now that Daniel Day-Lewis is Jewish! And he was the night's big winner.

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.