THE BRITISH got the joke, but across the U.S. chattering Twitterati, especially among the political class, there was outrage and shock. It shows what most of the critics know about show business, let alone the film industry. But that didn’t keep the rolling whines from coming in from people who don’t know squat about being a woman in the U.S. entertainment industry, let alone how to sing, dance, act or create anything but rolling controversy fueled on epic hypocrisy.
The humorless Debbie Wasserman-Schultz actually thinks the Oscars should be childproofed. This was the tip of the spear of political correctness that epitomized the critique of MacFarlane’s hilarious boob number, complete with L.A.’s Gay Men’s chorus. Dan Froomkin was as bad, taking particular offense at the Jodi Foster reference in The Accused, evidently missing that the director and producers could have shown a rape scene without skin, but didn’t.
Therein lies the reality of American show biz, boys and girls, and Seth MacFarlane’s boob song dared to call everyone out on it.
The first meeting I ever had with a hot shot theater agent in New York City at the William Morris Agency began by him asking me if I was serious about being in the business. As if 15 years and a degree in the subjects that led me to be cast on Broadway was for grins. Then he said that to be a real success I would have to begin with having a boob job. This was in the late 1970s.
Boobs. Boobs. Boobs.
It’s not sexist to sing a song about them.
It’s not misogynist to point out the Hollywood obvious.
It’s not part of the war on women to acknowledge what every actress will face at some point.
Being naked inside a character is part of the artistic process. Not being connected to modesty in front of the camera while playing someone not yourself is part of setting yourself free. You don’t have to show boobs, but you can’t be afraid of it either.
The song set up by William Shatner, the premise of which was Seth MacFarlane was going to be reviewed badly for his Oscar hosting regardless, but especially since he did an insulting boob song, was flawlessly introduced.
That it was a shivering blast of Hollywood and American culture reality caught people off guard. Honesty usual does. Political correctness has absolutely no place in artistry of any form. It suffocates creativity. Brutal honesty is where art breathes and begins the path to enduring legacy, while predictably enraging the culture police.
It’s also why so many people hate Quentin Tarantino. He defies the fencing of the mob.
Buzzfeed yelped about the Nazi character coming through the swinging doors during a Sound of Music comic bit: “@BuzzFeed: Nazis. WTF.” My retort: “Do you know anything about movie musicals??? #Oscars”
Michael Moore whined that it was the Tonys, which awards for best Broadway performances. Evidently, he also missed the theme that was announced at the top, which was this year’s Oscars were an homage to music in films.
Seth MacFarlane had an impossible task, as does anyone hosting the Oscars, which is a beast to do. His singing was flawless, the numbers worked, and Charlize Theron even pulled off a Fred and Ginger type number with Channing Tatum .
What do people expect?
They want people to fail, that’s what this country has become. The press is the coliseum feeding the brave who dare to venture into the public arena, whether it’s movies or politics.
The Oscars was too long, but it always is, because it’s covering a year of film achievement. Award shows make some gag, but the Oscars are important to the film industry, which makes this country a whopping boatload of cash and delivers prestige through enjoyment, especially last year, which was a blockbuster by any standard.
The best was delivered by Cristoph Waltz, who earned the Oscar, which I already wrote about earlier, and delivered a speech worthy of the moment, including a nod to his colleagues that didn’t seem rehearsed or forced.
The worst was Anne Hathaway, whom everyone expected to get the Oscar, including Hathaway, then failed miserably in acting surprised. Cameras don’t lie, which she certainly knows. So a little honesty was in order. Admitting she wanted this Oscar badly and worked her heart out to get it and was grateful to be acknowledged, because contrary to conventional wisdom, getting a nod from your peers for a part you killed yourself to nail was the ultimate sweetness.
And it wasn’t so bad that Jennifer Lawrence tripped on the way to accept her Oscar. But saying in response to a question the reason it happened was she had to climb stairs in that dress was just stupid. Any woman who is wearing a flowing gown of such magnitude needs to know the basics of picking the damn thing up to make sure you don’t fall, or she shouldn’t be wearing such a gown in the first place.
Oscar screwed up Adelle’s sound.
But Oscar wouldn’t dare screw up for Barbra.
Daniel Day-Lewis even delivered, at just after midnight on the east coast, the crowning acceptance speech, full of humor and grace. A joke that he and Meryl Streep swapped roles between Lincoln and Iron Lady, which was hysterical.
Through it all, great joke, clunker, and with all the beautiful music and great talent, Seth MacFarlane kept going while also making fun of himself along the way, but always keeping it honest.
The boob song should be a classic for an industry that relies on the flesh of women, their beauty, grace and glamour, as well as their sheer bravery to bare it all. Daring to touch such sacred stuff, the dirty secret that everyone knows paves many a woman’s way to longevity in the industry, is what makes artistry memorable.
You can only be cute for so long, then you have to reveal what you’re made of as a woman on film. Our sexuality is the enduring legacy of a woman and when she chooses to lose it a part of herself dies and an aspect of what extends her longevity goes with it.
Oscar was honest to a fault last night. That’s the bad and the beautiful of live performance, which was in the agile hands of Seth MacFarlane, another fearless artist who tackled the Oscars.