Actor, comedian and director Seth MacFarlane hosted the Academy Awards last night. Appropriately for the creator of Family Guy, his performance attracted both measured praise and sharp criticism.
The pre-show consensus for MacFarlane was one of low expectations, (a topic MacFarlane himself skewered in his opening monologue), and the positive reviews, for the most part, kept these low expectations in mind.
The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman wrote "with the deck stacked very much against him, MacFarlane did impressively better than one would have wagered (...)," while Steve Martin acknowledged it when he gave his stamp of approval: "Seth MacFarlane was wonderful and who knew? I did (...)."
While the praise has been qualified, the criticism has not. MacFarlane has been slammed by critics both left and right.
Gawker and Fox News, which typically agree on very little, both criticized MacFarlane's jokes for being sexist. The former ran an article called "Here Are All of Seth MacFarlane’s Predictable Sexist, Homophobic, and Racist Oscar Jokes (...)", while the latter had one entitled "Critics: Some of Seth MacFarlane's Oscar jokes 'inappropriate,' 'sexist' (...)".
MacFarlane also drew criticism on other fronts.
Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman Schultz, took issue with their family-unfriendly nature of the ceremony, tweeting "You know, has anyone told the Oscars people that there are families watching their show with their kids? #apparentlynot (...)". Newsbusters, on the other hand, took offense with MacFarlane's "Tasteless Joke About Lincoln Assassination (...)"