Seth MacFarlane to host Oscars again? 'No way,' it's 'Kobayashi Maru test'
Oscars 2013 host Seth MacFarlane says there's "no way" he would host the ceremony again, following mixed reviews of his performance and jokes that some deemed offensive and sexist, and compared the experience to a no-win scenario seen on "Star Trek."
Despite this, the 2013 Oscars telecast on ABC on Sunday drew more than 40.38 million viewers and a 13.0 rating among people between ages 18 and 49 -- up from 11.7 from 2012.
When asked on Twitter on Monday evening: "Would you host the #Oscars again if asked?," MacFarlane replied: "No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though."
"We Saw Your Boobs"
MacFarlane, creator of the off-beat animated show "Family Guy" and director of the R-rated film "Ted," brought with him his trademark crude sense of humor while making his debut at the Oscars, which also marked the first major event he has hosted since serving as the roast master of Comedy Central's roasts of David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump and most recently in 2011, Charlie Sheen.
During the Oscars, MacFarlane participated in several musical performances. He sang the showtune "The Way You Look Tonight" as well as the original song "We Saw Your Boobs." The latter performance was not as well received by some critics. One New Yorker writer penned an entire piece titled "Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars' Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night."
The California Legislative Women's Caucus announced on Tuesday that its leaders sent a letter to the president of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizs the Oscars, stating that "through its choice of this year's Academy Awards' Master of Ceremonies, struck a new low in its treatment of women." A rep for the Academy had no immediate comment about the matter.
MacFarlane also made jokes at the expense of Chris Brown and Rihanna, who reunited with the R&B star last year following his 2009 assault on her, and the late President Abraham Lincoln, who Daniel Day-Lewis portrayed in Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln." He later won an Oscar for his performance (check out his backstage interview).
"The actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth," MacFarlane said on stage, regarding the U.S. leader's assassin, spurring audience members to grown.
"Really? 150 years and it's still too soon, huh?" he asked, drawing laughs.
Anti-Defamation League slams Ted skit
MacFarlane also reprised his role as the animated, offensive teddy bear Ted alongside the film's leading human star Mark Wahlberg and made a reference about Jews in Hollywood, saying: "I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you, I'm Jewish."
The skit drew criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, which said it "reinforces worst stereotypes of Jewish control of Hollywood."
"While we have come to expect inappropriate 'Jews control Hollywood' jokes from Seth MacFarlane, what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny," the group's national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said in a statement posted on the Anti-Defamation League's website. "It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism."
"For the insiders at the Oscars, this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously," he added. "But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there's a much higher potential for the 'Jews control Hollywood' myth to be accepted as fact."
"The Oscars is basically the Kobayashi Maru test"
MacFarlane continued to defend his Oscars hosting performance on Twitter on Tuesday.
"My cat said the show went well," he later posted, alongside a photo.
He also Tweeted: "The Oscars is basically the Kobayashi Maru test."
The test MacFarlane is referring to is a no-win scenario simulation exercise that is assigned to Starfleet Academy cadets in "Star Trek," as seen in the 1982 film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot, which stars Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner in the original 1960s series and films. Shatner made a remote appearance at the Oscars.
During the test, cadets take their positions at the helm of a star ship and must act to rescue the USS Kobayashi Maru from an attack by Klingon warbirds. As stated by Dr. McCoy in the latter film: "It's the Kobayashi Maru. No one passes the test, and no one goes back for seconds, let alone thirds."
MacFarlane is a big fan of both "Star Trek" and "Star Wars." He appeared in two episodes of the most recent "Star Trek" live-action series, "Star Trek: Enterprise," in 2004.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Seth MacFarlane "did a fantastic job"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who participated in a musical number with MacFarlane and "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe, told OTRC.com that the Oscars host "did a fantastic job, just set it up just right."
"You know, you had his irreverent humor and on the other hand you have the really classy stuff," Gordon-Levitt said. "It's not easy to pull both of those things off."
(Check out Joseph Gordon-Levitt's interview with OTRC.com after the Oscars and also check out 12 Best Moments from the 2013 Oscars.)
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