Oscars Let DownLaura Mayes
Ugh. I can’t stop thinking about how disappointed I am about the Oscars. I don’t really care about who won and who lost – and the gowns were fine. I’m disappointed because I realize another grand tradition is going the way of Honey Boo Boo.
While in hot pursuit of ratings – and they got ’em – the Academy Awards producers went down market. And it is, in fact, them that I blame. Seth McFarlane was just doing what he is known for – mostly crude variety show entertainment. The problem is that the Oscars have been, and should continue to be, a family affair – a celebration of the best of movies – an art form that we all enjoy one way or another.
Harry loves award shows. LOVES THEM. He was glued to the set during the Golden Globes and when I made him go to bed before they were over, he insisted that I DVR the rest so he could finish the next afternoon, which he did. I’m glad that he enjoys award shows because I do too, and it means we can both watch without interruption.
But I was not glad that he was watching the Oscars on Sunday night. I was embarrassed by a lot of what we saw, and by the time I realized that it was not going to be an Ellen (Degeneres) or Billy (Crystal) type show (7 minutes into it), the damage was done … and I was stuck explaining how songs about female anatomy (even when sung by a man in a tux on a fancy stage) aren’t actually cool.
And even though I’ll join others in being called out by the internet for not loving sexist and racist humor, I’m going to go ahead and share a few of the reasons I was disappointed and wish Harry and I had been watching something else:
Juvenile. As I mentioned before (because this ended up being a whole thing at school) Seth’s song about seeing parts of female actresses’ anatomy in movies, backed by the Los Angeles Gay Mens Chorus, was silly and degrading. It wasn’t even funny. Even worse – Harry was singing it under his breath the whole next day. Pointless.
Musical = Gay. I was so pleased to see Daniel Radcliff and Channing Tatum on stage dancing and singing – two actors my son recognizes and likes. Seth himself sang and danced incredibly well. But then he had to tarnish it all with a quip that there would be more singing and dancing because the “show wasn’t gay enough yet”. I don’t want Harry to think a) that singing and dancing means you’re “acting gay”, and b) that being or appearing to resemble a gay person is in any way something worthy of teasing. If it turns out he loves to sing or dance I don’t want it to even cross his mind that someone may draw conclusions about his sexual orientation. The two concepts have nothing to do with one another except in the universe of needless stereotypes.
Tawdry. The bit with Mark Wahlburg, whom I love by the way, and Ted the CGI bear was a waste of Oscar airtime. The running joke about a Hollywood orgy after-party, told right in front of a 9 year old actress sitting in the front row, and in front of my son watching at home, was not appropriate. And again, not really funny.
Don’t get me wrong … I am not Polly Anna and I can even appreciate good low-brow and smart R-rated humor when I see it. It just needs to be the right time, the right place. The Oscars is not the place, in my opinion.
Give us Ellen. Give us Billy. Give us Whoopi. Give us anyone who knows how to be funny and classy on Hollywood’s biggest night.