The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is sticking up for Seth MacFarlane and citing artistic freedom against charges that the comedians stint as Oscar host was sexist.
In the wake of the awards telecast many commentators, such as Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, branded MacFarlane's opening song "We Saw Your Boobs" and his quips about Chris Brown's abusive relationship with Rihanna, as misogynist. On Tuesday, those charges intensified after two California legislators, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, sent a letter to Academy President Hawk Koch condemning the host's performance and asking the group to be more careful in the future.
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"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," the legislators wrote.
"In a world where women have historically faced challenges and obstacles when it comes to their portrayal in popular culture, Sunday evening was a setback for women fighting hard to gain appropriate respect as contributors in this industry and society and general," they added.
But the Academy did not agree with their assessment.
“If the Oscars are about anything, they’re about creative freedom," an Academy spokeswoman said in a statement to TheWrap. "We think the show's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and host Seth MacFarlane did a great job and we hope our worldwide audience found the show entertaining.”
MacFarlane, who is the creator of "Ted" and "Family Guy," is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to jokes about race and sexism in his shows and movies. He was brought in by the Academy in an effort to broaden the show's appeal to younger viewers.
Lowenthal and Jackson are both Democrats and co-chair the California State Legislative Women’s Caucus. Their offices did not immediately respond to request for comment about the Academy's response.
As for MacFarlane, don't look for him to return as Oscar emcee again.
On Twitter, the host responded to questions about whether he would host for a second time by writing, "No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though."