Seth MacFarlane's Oscar Monologue Was Endless, and Maybe Racist and Sexist

Esther Zuckerman
The Atlantic Wire

Playing off his pre-Oscars prediction that everyone would hate him at the Oscars, Seth MacFarlane spent the first 19 minutes of the Academy Awards on Sunday making sure everyone would, in fact, hate him. After some real stinkers, the main conceit was William Shatner descending on a screen as Captain Kirk, from the future, to tell MacFarlane to do a better job of hosting, in a kind of alternate-reality bit that turned pretty sordid—and pretty fast. What followed was a song about boobs, a version of Flight with sock puppets, a makeout session with Sally Field, with a little bit of song-and-dance numbers in between. And some poorly received jokes between those.

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MacFarlane started off pretty meme-y, by making Tommy Lee Jones, sad meme champion of the Golden Globes, finally smile: "And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now."

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But then things took a turn for the weird. MacFarlane made a joke about Daniel Day-Lewis' method acting: "If you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot would you try and free him?" He said of Django Unchained: "Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call, it a date movie" and of Django's use of the n-word: "I'm told the screenplay was loosely based on Mel Gibson's voicemails."

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Then Shatner sort of came to the rescue, explaining how badly the show had gone for MacFarlane in Captain Kirk's version of the future. 

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There was a song called "We Saw Your Boobs." These were the reaction shots:

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(Note: Jennifer Lawrence's boobs have not actually been on camera.)

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(Note: Charlie Theron's have.)

The boobs bit immediately prompted cries of sexism: 

To be clear: we are being treated to a song about when we see women's breasts in film. #SEXISM #oscars #oscarwomen

— ShelbyKnox (@ShelbyKnox) February 25, 2013

His boobs aren't funny RT @willapaskin: Glad that MacFarlane is appealing to the underserved heterosexual male portion of Oscar watchers.

— Jen Doll (@thisisjendoll) February 25, 2013

MacFarlane's comeback from potty humor was a dance number with... Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum, who showed they could both move around the stage pretty nicely. 

But then, back in Shatner's alternate reality, we got Flight with sock puppets and a joke about "blackhand." 

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That strange joke was followed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe dancing adorably. And then, just when it seemed like it was time for the never-ending monologue to close, there was MacFarlane in a Flying Nun costume, convincing Sally Field that Anne Hathaway would win anyway, and then he made out with her. 

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The whole thing ended with MacFarlane crooning "Be Our Guest" from Beaty and the Beast with all of his special dancing guests: 

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The opening drew a number of complaints including cries of racism, sexism, and especially length: 

This is already the longest #Oscars ceremony in history.

— Meredith Blake (@MeredithBlake) February 25, 2013

Is this opening monologue still going on? #oscars

— Amy Odell (@amyodell) February 25, 2013

Sexism and racism are boring and legit unfunny, sorry (would still fuck Seth MacFarlane, double sorry)

— Kate Carraway (@KateCarraway) February 25, 2013

Who wrote Seth MacFarlane's bits? Shatner's #Reddit trolls?

— Los Angeles magazine (@LA_mag) February 25, 2013

Shatner's joke—"Why can't Tina and Amy host everything?"—prompted hopes that the Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would come back: 

The one thing Seth is right about: Amy and Tina should host everything from now on #Oscars2013

— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) February 25, 2013

So... why couldn't Tina and Amy host this??? #Oscars

— Amy Odell (@amyodell) February 25, 2013

Tonight's first big winner? Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. #oscar2013

— Lewis Kay (@lewkay) February 25, 2013