Seth MacFarlane’s Oscars under fire from all sides

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  • Seth MacFarlane
    Seth MacFarlane
    American actor
Seth MacFarlane on the Oscars stage Sunday night
Seth MacFarlane on the Oscars stage Sunday night

Ratings-wise, Seth MacFarlane's Oscarcast was an unqualified success. Seth MacFarlane's jokes … not so much.

Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Parents Television Council today slammed MacFarlane's "offensive" humor.

The ADL zeroed in on MacFarlane's crack (in his guise as the foul-mouthed, pot-toking CGA bear Ted) that you have to be Jewish if "you want to work in this town."

"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," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. "It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs."

[Related: Seth MacFarlane's most offensive Oscar jokes]

Meanwhile, PTC found MacFarlane was off-base on many fronts -- calling his Oscar-night humor "misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic." The PTC sent the following statement to Yahoo! Movies:

If people were tuning-in to the Oscars to see the same crass, vulgar and juvenile humor MacFarlane has employed in "Ted" or "Family Guy" they surely weren’t disappointed. What a shame that this once classy event has been cheapened and dumbed-down to the level of a junior-high school locker room. There's no doubt MacFarlane has talent – but perhaps it's better to have no talent at all than to squander it as he does on misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic jokes.

But the Academy is standing by its man, telling Yahoo! Movies today, "If the Oscars are about anything, they're about creative freedom. We think the show's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and host Seth MacFarlane did a great job and we hope our worldwide audience found the show entertaining."

Indeed, the show's viewership was way up, solidifying itself as the most-watched entertainment telecast in three years, drawing an average audience of 40.3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen figures (as reported by ABC). The Oscars broadcast also markedly resonated with the coveted 18-49 demographic, growing by 11 percent with a rating of 13.0 -- it's best numbers since 2010, making it the awards show's second-most-watched telecast since 2005. MacFarlane also ushered in double digit growth with young male audiences -- go figure.

His opening monologue received more than twice as many cheers than jeers on social media sites across the board, according to data collected by social analytics firm Attensity Media. And that says a lot, seeing as the red carpet coverage and telecast drew more than 5 million mentions on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Still, MacFarlane is drawing plenty of criticism from commentators. Slate movie critic Dana Stevens called the 2013 Oscar host's jokes "A defensive anxiety about the ascendant power of women" and "... a steady stream of lady-diminishing wisecrack."

"Seth MacFarlane spoon fed sexism and likewise innuendo through song, setting a terrible example for young children watching the show," political and entertainment publicist Angie Meyer told Fox. "If only he'd kept his mouth shut more frequently," wrote The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber.

Watch Seth MacFarlane's Oscar Night 'Boobs' Song and Dance Number:

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