Oscars 2013: Do we love women or hate them? The show couldn’t decide
The tonal dissonance of 85th Academy Awards had much to do with its treatment of women. Even as Seth MacFarlane’s humor inflamed feminists, many of the musical numbers celebrated the strength and power of female performers and pride of place was saved for one powerful woman -- First Lady Michelle Obama.
MacFarlane touts himself as an equal-opportunity offender, and the show did include racial jokes, barbs at Jews and even a Nazi gag. Yet much of his humor was tied to insulting women. From the introduction-within-an-introduction that allowed him to deliver a crude song about actresses’ breasts to reducing Jessica Chastain’s tough-as-nails performance as a CIA analyst in “Zero Dark Thirty” to “every woman’s innate ability to never let anything go,” MacFarlane’s gags often objectified or denigrated them.
Even Quvenzhane Wallis’ feat of becoming the youngest best actress nominee was transformed into a joke about how long it would be before the 9-year-old becomes too old to date George Clooney.
Charlize Theron surprised audiences with her graceful dance number with Channing Tatum, while singers as varied in age and experience as Shirley Bassey, 76, Barbra Streisand, 70, Adele, 24, andJennifer Hudson, 31, commanded the stage with energetic, classy performances.
Chapman described the performances by Streisand, the “Les Miserables” cast and Adele as “once-in-a-lifetime” moments. The ping-pong between the two poles of regard and disdain for women were mimicked offline too. Perhaps most notably, the satirical website The Onion posted an offensive tweet about Wallis, referring to her with a vulgarism referencing female genitalia. The tweet was immediately and widely blasted, with “The Wire” actor Wendell Pierce leading the charge via his own Twitter feed.
The site deleted the message an hour after it was posted and issued an apology to the young actress Monday morning. (La times)