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California female lawmakers condemn Oscar host

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Two female California state lawmakers have condemned Oscar host Seth MacFarlane's comments during Sunday's awards presentation as degrading toward women, and asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to use better judgment in the future.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature's women's caucus, sent a letter to Academy President Hawk Koch on Tuesday, requesting that the organization disavow MacFarlane's behavior.

They objected to the comedian's focus on the physical appearance of several actresses and quips about nude scenes.

"Furthermore, there was a disturbing theme about violence against women being acceptable and funny," the lawmakers wrote. "From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about 'boobs' during a film's rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny."

MacFarlane's performance has drawn multiple critics since Sunday's show. Blogs compiled highlights of his punch lines, which included a song that referenced leading ladies who have bared their breasts on film that were accompanied by reaction shots from those actresses.

He also made light of a domestic violence incident between rapper Chris Brown and singer Rihanna, and joked about the heavy accents of several Latina actresses.

"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," the letter stated.

Lowenthal and Jackson asked Koch to respond. Academy spokeswoman Toni Thompson had no immediate comment.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted the Violence Against Women Act currently under debate in Congress, and a resolution that the Legislature passed supporting the act's reauthorization. Better judgment is needed in the academy's future decisions regarding its awards show hosts and their material, they said.

"This should be a celebration of artists in the filmmaking industry, not an offensive display of disrespect toward women that sets the fight for gender equality, dignity, and respect back decades," they wrote.

A repeat hosting performance by MacFarlane doesn't look likely. Asked Tuesday on Twitter if he would host the Oscars again, he replied, "No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though."

815Comments
Feb 27, 2013 2:38PM
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As someone who thinks Family Guy is not funny, he did about as I would expect.  I suppose he could argue that if he insulted Mel Gibson, he was not singling out women or ethnicities, he was insulting everyone.  I laughed a little at the absurdity of his 'saw your boobs' song and dance number.  To be fair, not that far afield from what Billy Crystal might do...and they didn't show Jodie Foster's pinball machine rape scene at the same time as the song, he only cited the film.  That said, he used 'gay' or 'more gay' as a perfunctory dumb-guy insult, yes, in a way that he would never think to use 'white guy.'  But that's just being the mediocre comedian that he is.  See, Family Guy, See, American Dad, See, Cleveland...

Feb 27, 2013 2:38PM
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Lawmakers in America are pathetic. this country is in such turmoil these days that we all need to have a sense of humor!! Get over yourselves already!! He did a great job!!
Feb 27, 2013 2:37PM
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Wow, and women wonder why men are gay.  Who would want to even be around a women when they are so negative like these two whiners.

Feb 27, 2013 2:37PM
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Who cares?  Maybe those two California lawmakers should move to North Korea where they do not have freedom of speech.  Maybe they will be happier there.
Feb 27, 2013 2:37PM
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those political C#$t WHORES!!!!!    All week leading up to the Oscars......we're bombarded with topics such as 'What's so & so wearing....the gown....the jewels......the weirdass hairdos, etc.'   Then on the red carpet, instead of talking about FILM......( which is supposed to be the primary focus of the event...) we're subjected to hours on end of over-the-top flaming fashion critics.....attacking every actress walking the guantlet....for any hair out of place....or 'nip slip'.  Jeezus H.  KEEEERiste!   They were all over Anne Hathaway for looking a bit 'perky' in her festive pink dress...( I liked it! )........What a bunch of F#%kin' old PRUDES!    Seth was good......The material was SOMEWHAT better than the lame crap we seem to get every year from writers such as that Bruce Valanch fella.    You should bring Seth BACK....and throw in Gilbert Gottfried as a 'kicker'.    next year
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