Actress Geena Davis critical of Oscar host
Actress Geena Davis, center, smiles a she waits to be escorted into the Assembly by Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, left, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 4, 2013. Davis says remarks “containing disrespect for women” from the host of last month’s Academy Awards ceremony overshadowed the win of an animated film with a strong female character. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Academy Award winner Geena Davis on Monday waded into the ongoing controversy over this year's Oscars ceremony by saying host Seth MacFarlane's routine was disrespectful to women, particularly the performers who were being honored.
The "Thelma & Louise" star said MacFarlane's much-criticized routine last month overshadowed the win of an animated film with a strong female character.
"It's a shame that that triumph was enveloped in an awards ceremony containing disrespect for women," Davis told members of the California Assembly during a ceremony in Sacramento. "But it helps illustrate how tone-deaf we can still be regarding the status of women."
She commended "Brave," which won best animated picture, as setting a positive example for girls.
Davis, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for "The Accidental Tourist" in 1988, was in the state capital as one of 11 California women honored for their achievements.
She is chairwoman of state Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and founded a nonprofit that promotes gender equality in the media.
Actress Geena Davis receives a standing ovation from members of the state Assembly as she is escorted down the center aisle by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, right, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, March 4, 2013. Davis, who is the chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women, was one of several women honored for their accomplishments.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Last week, two female state lawmakers sent a letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asking it to condemn MacFarlane's quips about nude scenes and the attractiveness of several female actresses as degrading toward women. At one point during the Oscars ceremony, MacFarlane performed a song about "boobs" and referenced several rape scenes among his list of movies with actresses appearing topless.
The academy issued a general statement defending MacFarlane and saying the award show is about "creative freedom."
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat who co-authored the letter, said Monday that she was disappointed the academy did not address her concerns.
"I might say after last Sunday's Academy Awards, we need you more than ever," said Jackson, referring to Davis' work on gender issues as she introduced the actress and other honorees on the Senate floor.