This post was originally published on gabestein.com.
Are we being trolled by the Academy, ABC and Seth MacFarlane? Before I get into that, let me do some housekeeping: I agree with the general consensus that he was a terrible host, mostly unfunny and very offensive. He managed to be sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic and a lot more while mostly not being very funny. So yeah, let the floodgates be opened and the valid criticism be unleashed upon all who deserve it. It’s real, it’s fair and we should be having conversations about why all these things continue to stubbornly persist in society.
But okay, this is Seth MacFarlane, creator of the most offensive show on television that is nonetheless so popular that the Fox network brought it back on the air after cancellation because of its cult following (cough, but not Firefly?!?!?!, cough). Did we, the Academy, ABC and everyone else really expect him to not be offensive? Was it worse because it was a human being, not animations this time?
Or…was that the idea all along? Remember the Oscar’s intro where Captain Kirk shows MacFarlane the newspaper articles from the day after as he changes his performance? Look at the comment numbers on the articles as his performance goes from bad to good (sharing also appears to follow the pattern, but it’s hard to tell).
‘Seth MacFarlane, Worst Oscar Host Ever’ – 2236 comments
‘Seth MacFarlane, pretty bad Oscar host’ – 1256 comments
‘Seth MacFarlane proves to be mediocre host’ – 893 comments
Now reflect on the media storm his terrible performance generated. How many of you tuned in because your friends were whining about his jokes on Twitter? Did any of you, like me, at one point even feel bad for advertisers who were being associated with this stuff without knowing it ahead of time?
There’s a lot of backwards thinking in Hollywood when it comes to technology, but they still know how to get eyeballs in front of things. Someone may have left an easter egg to that effect right in the middle of the show.