CA Female Lawmakers Condemn MacFarlane

California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the legislature's women's caucus, sent a letter to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Hawk Koch on Tuesday, requesting that the organization disavow Oscar host Seth MacFarlane's behavior during last Sunday's telecast.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Two female California state lawmakers have condemned Oscar host Seth MacFarlane’s comments during Sunday’s awards presentation as degrading toward women and asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to use better judgment in the future.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus, sent a letter to Academy President Hawk Koch on Tuesday, requesting that the organization disavow MacFarlane’s behavior.

They objected to the comedian’s focus on the physical appearance of several actresses and quips about nude scenes.

“Furthermore, there was a disturbing theme about violence against women being acceptable and funny,” the lawmakers wrote. “From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about ‘boobs’ during a film’s rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny.”

MacFarlane’s performance has drawn multiple critics since Sunday’s show. Blogs compiled highlights of his punch lines, which included a song that referenced leading ladies who have bared their breasts on film that were accompanied by reaction shots from those actresses.

He also made light of a domestic violence incident between rapper Chris Brown and singer Rihanna, and joked about the heavy accents of several Latina actresses.


“On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane’s monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” the letter stated.

Lowenthal and Jackson, both Democrats, asked Koch to respond. Academy spokeswoman Toni Thompson had no immediate comment.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted the Violence Against Women Act currently under debate in Congress and a resolution that the Legislature passed supporting the act’s reauthorization. Better judgment is needed in the academy’s future decisions regarding its awards show hosts and their material, they said.

“This should be a celebration of artists in the filmmaking industry, not an offensive display of disrespect toward women that sets the fight for gender equality, dignity, and respect back decades,” they wrote.

A repeat hosting performance by MacFarlane doesn’t look likely. Asked Tuesday on Twitter if he would host the Oscars again, he replied, “No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though.”

Comments (8)

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Maria Black says:

February 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I hope they get this upset about every major female pop star and their wardrobes, and the Jamacian accent in that Superbowl commercial.

Ellen Samrock says:

February 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

As someone who was born, raised and works in CA, I can freely say that the state is going into the toilet thanks to the ineptitude of our state legislators. And yet they have the time to lodge a protest against the remarks of a comedian? I say stop wasting taxpayer money by getting sidetracked with minor issues and start fixing the real problems affecting our state. Stop fiddling while CA is burning. A lot of people were upset over the Chris Brown/Rihanna joke. But I think personally it needed to be said. If anything the joke put Chris Brown on notice that the world is watching his conduct in this relationship. And it also put Rihanna on notice that many are asking, “What are you doing staying in an abusive relationship?”

Mark Annas says:

February 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I am female and thought he was extremely entertaining – had no idea Seth’s talents were so versatile – and the CA legislators need to take care of CA…who appointed them the morals police? They wouldn’t know ggod taste if someone fed it to them

Angie McClimon says:

February 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Our politicians…They are elected on the basis that they are going to help us only to turn coat and do everything to help themselves. I’m surprised they could even write with their heads so far up their hindquarters.

Allyson Mongrain says:

February 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Liberal twits why in a state that’s in as gross econmic shape as California should any elected offical worried about a comments on a few bare breasts which the female stars did knowingly and were paid for.

    Ellen Samrock says:

    February 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    And that’s another thing, these actresses who bore their breasts for the “artistic integrity” of a picture knew exactly what was at stake. They knew that millions would see them, that many would comment, critique and, yes, even ridicule what they were doing or even their bodies. Maybe they weren’t expecting a musical number celebrating their “exposure” at the Oscars but they knew that this was the kind of risk they would be running. They don’t need self-appointed advocates fighting a battle that never existed until they chose to make it one.

Ricky McCray says:

February 28, 2013 at 7:49 am

If they don’t like, don’t watch it!

Teri Keene says:

February 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Yeah, Seth Macfarlane’s performance is more important than a state near economic collapse with companies leaving the state on a day-to-day basis (sound similar to what we’re going through in Illinois.) Those two sound like the typical Illinois politician.

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