Seth MacFarlane's Sexist Oscar Night: Why everyone is outraged

Not funny, Seth MacFarlane. Photo: Getty Images/Kevin WinterIt was more of a boys’ club than usual at the 85th annual Academy Awards Sunday, thanks to host Seth MacFarlane, who, predictably, worked his usual schtick to the max by using women as punch lines all night long (at least when he wasn't focused on Jews, blacks, gays and Abe Lincoln). But luckily, neither the audience nor the Twitterverse seemed amused. The “Family Guy” creator (and GQ Funnyman of the Year 2012, natch) doled out such a litany of misogynistic cracks—on boobs, domestic violence, rape, eating disorders, Latina women and more—that it’s hard to know where to begin.

By Monday morning, critics around the country had weighed in on what went went so terribly wrong with MacFarlane's performance. "The evening’s misogyny involved a specific hostility to women in the workplace," The New Yorker's Amy Richardson wrote in a tirade against the host. And with regards to a particularly cringe-worthy joke about domestic violence,  she added: "There are surely better things to joke about."

The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber also called out MacFarlane's sick jokes in a now viral rant against the host, but warned "calling them offensive gives them too much power." 

The Oscar host's "fake edginess," as Kornhaber put it, is the backbone of MacFarlane's humor. It's designed to disqualify those who get offended. If that's the case, everyone lost last night. With a billion viewers tuning in worldwide, there was no denying the power—and the negative impact—of sexist, racist and homophobic jokes. Here are some of last night's most offensive moments, and the horrified reactions from viewers on Twitter.

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Domestic violence is hilarious: While introducing “Django Unchained,” MacFarlane drew gasps from the audience by referencing Chris Brown’s (past?) tendency to physically abuse off-now-on-again girlfriend Rihanna: “This is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.” Here's what feminist hero Shelby Knox had to say:

Rape is hot: MacFarlane’s inane and juvenile “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number effectively reduced a lineup of brilliant leading ladies to eye candy. That would have been hideous enough, but as he named all the women he was thinking of, making the audience visibly squirm, he included four—Hilary Swank, Jodie Foster, Jessica Chastain and Charlize Theron—in which the “boob” scene was a rape scene.

Little girls are fair game: The host even drew 9-year-old Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis into the uncomfortable sex-object references, saying, “To give you an idea of how young she is, it'll be 16 years until she’s too old for Clooney.”

Jennifer Aniston is a stripper:
On another introduction, he said, “Our next two presenters, at least one is honest about being a former exotic dancer. Please welcome Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston.”

Women are a pain in the neck: He described Zero Dark Thirty as a tribute to “every woman’s innate inability to never ever let anything go.”

Eating disorders are sexy: “And those of you [beautiful women] who gave yourselves the flu two weeks ago to ‘get there’? It paid off.”

No one cares what you're saying, woman: In reference to Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz (as well as Javier Bardem): “We have no idea what they’re saying, but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.”

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