PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

We Saw Your Hypocrisy: Seth MacFarlane, Hollywood, and the Liberal Media

When PC people manufacture controversies such as the uproar over Seth MacFarlane's Oscar humor, they reveal that they are oblivious to how they consistently confirm every unflattering stereotype depicting them as humorless bores.

For many people residing in the moral universe of liberalism, speech is more important than behavior. The old adages that are self-evidently true, as "actions speak louder than words" and "talk is cheap" mean little to those critics whose self-appointed purpose in life is to perpetually claim offense at the latest failure to adhere to the ever evolving standards of political correctness. The worst consequence of the false piety and phony outrage of the predictable attacks of "sexism" and "racism" launched against comics, commentators, or entertainers who dare to overstep the barely demarcated bounds of free speech is that rather than creating a culture of unity and harmony, it does the opposite. It creates a culture of anxiety in which everyone must live in fear of stepping on landmines that will soon explode in a blast of demonization, condemnation, and alienation.

The latest person to dangerously misstep is Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, who forgot the new schoolhouse rules of acceptable language when he hosted this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

MacFarlane's most "offensive" routine, according to the babysitters in the press, was the "We Saw Your Boobs" song that identified attractive actresses in the audience by the movies in which they bared their breasts. Nevermind that all of the actresses mentioned in the song freely participated in the pre-recorded musical number -- feigning disgust or in the case of the tantalizingly charming Jennifer Lawrence, smiling and winking at the camera -- MacFarlane's song somehow represents a new low of Hollywood chauvinism and misogyny. Critics of MacFarlane, from writers at Salon and Democrats in the California State Government to the talented and brilliant Jane Fonda, are not only guilty of emotional frailty, but also comical illiteracy.

The song, first of all, was part of a joke featuring William Shatner as Captain Kirk explaining to MacFarlane why he was panned as the worst host of the Oscars the day after the event. The joke of the "offensive" song was that MacFarlane would be so oblivious to not realize it was offensive. Even if MacFarlane actually opened the show with the song, it seems that the humor is aimed at adolescent males, and many adults for that matter, who excitedly watch movies if they know that it contains a nude scene featuring their favorite starlet. Let's be honest: most among us like to see beautiful women take off their clothes -- a reality rejected here by the liberal moral universe.

Later in the broadcast, MacFarlane kidded that the precocious nine-year-old star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhané Wallis, would soon be too old to date George Clooney. In the bizarro world of political correctness this is an example of misogyny, not a witty jab taken at the cradle robbing dating habits of Clooney, one of Hollywood's recently beatified saints. Clooney is not the first actor to show a sexual preference for younger women, but again, this points out a reality that polite people shouldn't discuss, much less use for amusement.

MacFarlane's animated character, Ted, made a few jokes about the large number of Jews making their living in the movie business and accordingly, MacFarlane was labeled with the "anti-Semite" tag. Since the conclusion of the Academy Award broadcast, MacFarlane has become America's Most Wanted in liberal quarters, and his edgy attempts at humor -- some of it funny and some of it boring -- are the capital crimes justifying his prosecution and conviction.

Liberal pundits have such ethnic sensitivity that MacFarlane's benign jokes about the amount of Jewish people in Hollywood are handled with the same scorn as a dog eared copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Meanwhile, the boorish buffoon Alec Baldwin, not in the context of a performance or in an attempt at humor, but in an act of threatening and hostile rage, calls a black photographer and retired police officer a "coon" and "crack dealer", and receives almost no criticism. Is Baldwin not susceptible to the charge of racism because he votes Democratic and is a vocal supporter of liberal causes? It is a fair question, but one that the mainstream media will never field.

Liberals who self-righteously enforce the laws of language receive the world only as they wish it were, not how it actually is. Living in a state of utopic delusion causes them to fear and hate words more than actions, because the wrong words might articulate troubling, unavoidable realities, whereas actions are easily ignorable as long those actions are buried beneath a flowerbed of pretty rhetoric. When liberals manufacture controversies such as these -- and the next incident provoking moral outrage, mark my words, is only weeks away -- they reveal that they are oblivious to how they consistently confirm every unflattering stereotype depicting them as humorless bores. They also, in effect, rip open their shirts and flash the country with their hypocrisy.

In 2003, the Academy awarded Roman Polanski "Best Director" for his work behind the camera of The Pianist. Polanski wasn't in California to accept his award, because he is living as a fugitive in Europe; evading American authorities who have a warrant for his arrest for drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl. Polanski's brutal rape of a child, and his refusal to face legal consequences for his crime, did not stop some members of the audience of Hollywood producers and performers from giving the absent sex offender a standing ovation.

Unsatisfied with simply giving moral support to a pedophile, in 2009, 138 of Hollywood's most acclaimed and famous directors, including Martin Scorsese, Darren Aronofsky, and Jonathan Demme, signed a petition requesting that the Swiss government release Polanski after authorities in Switzerland arrested him for his sex crime. Most of the mainstream media maintained disciplined silence in both 2003 and 2009. Wait... defenders of child rape are not worthy of the misogynistic accusation, but MacFarlane's jokes make him a monster?

Unrepentant former drug dealer and touring misogynist Jay Z is also immune to the attack. A man who regularly refers to women as "bitches" and "hos", and promises that he will continue to do so, has reached such a level of respectability in American culture that he can share a stage with President Obama the knighted and anointed defender of all things feminine against the Republican "war on women". So... Mitt Romney's inartful and awkward phrase, "binders full of women", was the equivalent of a hate crime on the campaign trail, but glorifying the degradation and humiliation of women in song is not only acceptable, but worthy of applause?

A parade of Hollywood actors issues a tone deaf and pretentious public service announcement denouncing "gun violence" and calling for restrictions on the 2nd amendment, while they profit enormously from movies that stylize and glorify gun violence. The contradiction between reactionary liberal rhetoric and reality makes the PC police appear as little more than keystone cops, comically struggling to maintain consistency, not to mention order, in a world that they cannot control and over a system of arbitrarily invented rules of conduct that only apply to people they don't like or with whom they disagree politically.

Indeed, the Pulitzer prize winning playwright and screenwriter David Mamet writes in his book The Secret Knowledge, "For, at least, one could say of Hitler and his assassins, that they enjoyed their anti-Semitism. But liberals proceed, from day to day, in a sort of sad, wistful fury at all things of life not recognized in its cosmogony."

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.