Seth MacFarlane, who hosts the Academy Awards this Sunday, is making some unusual comments in what would normally be expected to be a time for generating interest in the ceremony. The Los Angeles Times reports that MacFarlane said “I’m the wrong guy to do this” in an interview with CNN.
He also reportedly said of his selection as host: “It’s a really bad match.”
The Times piece adds: “The raunchy-minded creative genius behind TV’s ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad’ and the summer box office hit ‘Ted’ says the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday will be ‘a very thin-skinned room’ for his ribald sense of humor.”
Were MacFarlane’s comments said in jest? The piece offers an ambiguous conclusion: “MacFarlane was was joking, of course, in his comments to CNN. Or was he?”
Noting that MacFarlane is the first Oscars host since Charlton Heston in 1972 to read the nominations at the official announcement, which took place last month, the report points out: “MacFarlane’s comments were scathing, and included a Hitler joke and the portrayal of screenwriters and directors as lazy. This test run, if you will, for the Oscar show was immediately deemed a flop by Hollywood’s power players. (The rest of us? We were reminding ourselves to DVR the Oscars.)”
The host may have to walk a fine line during the ceremony, the piece notes. “If he goes easy on the single biggest night in Hollywood, he could be portrayed as a sellout. But if he lets loose on the A-list audience, he runs the risk of offending Hollywood’s elite just as he’s making the leap from TV to film.”
In his favor, the article notes, is “Ted’s” box-office success, with more than $535 million brought in internationally — a point that ensures “he’ll likely always find an open door in Hollywood, somewhere,” the piece says.
One indication MacFarlane may not take the PC route: He wasn’t especially impressed by rave reviews for hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the recent Golden Globes.
Said MacFarlane: “I thought they were fantastic. But they are also beloved by the press. … There are certain people who have a kind of a carte blanche, ‘You’re awesome, we love you no matter what you do.’ That said, they were fantastic. But I wouldn’t know if they weren’t from reading the press.”