Oscars 2013: Seth MacFarlane Offends Jewish Group, Among Others
Between Seth MacFarlane and The Onion, everyone had a chance to be offended by the 2013 Oscars.
Some viewers loved Seth as host, but in addition to people who felt his jokes were sexist, raunchy, or just in poor taste, a Jewish group called the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement Monday morning slamming Seth for perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes in a segment that featured Mark Wahlberg and Ted the stuffed bear. In that bit, Ted (voiced by Seth) joked that Jews controlled Hollywood, and professed to be Jewish so he could still get work in town. "I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever," he said.
The ADL has been upset with Seth before, including in 2009 for a Family Guy episode called "Family Goy."
In its statement after the Oscars, the ADL wrote (via The Hollywood Reporter), "While we have come to expect inappropriate 'Jews control Hollywood' jokes from Seth MacFarlane, what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny. It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs. ... For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously. But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact. We wish that Mr. MacFarlane and the Academy Awards producers had shown greater sensitivity and decided against airing a sketch that so reinforces the age-old canard about Jewish control of the film industry."
The Oscars had to know what they were getting when Seth was made host. He appeals to some people, not to others, like every other Oscars host. Do you think any of his comments crossed the line, or are people being oversensitive?