Swimming in the Deep End of White Male Privilege: It’s just all for fun!!

tumblr_m3tgpi2pCq1rvi5n4o1_500White men just wanna have fun!!!  We saw a the lot of it yesterday!  I’m not even sure where to start on the list but the punch line to all of this is that women and black people just don’t seem to have a sense of humor.  Otherwise, we’d find all of these jokes supremely kewl.

So, the first example was the outrageously offensive The Onion Tweet last night that rocked the Twitter World.  For those of you that lack the satire gene, some one in the staff felt it satirical to call a 9 year old black girl–Quvenzhané Wallis–the “c” word.  I don’t know about you, but as a woman, the “c” word is on the level with the “n” word to me.  They took the tweet down with in the hour and they’ve finally apologized on their Facebook page.   I guess it took them about 8 hours to figure out how to say they were very very very very wrong. Yes, I’m posting the offending Tweet because they took it down and it needs to be seen because THEY OWN IT.  I’m offended by the word as any one, but really, it needs to be documented.

On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.

The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.

In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.the-onion2

Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.

But, really, that was just in keeping of the good ol’ boy spirit of the Oscars set by Seth McFarland.  I am not an aficionado of any of his work even though I am a big fan of the cartoon genre.  It’s because I don’t like being the butt of nearly every friggin’ joke that isn’t making black people the butt of the joke.  If I were a black lesbian I could be offended perpetually by him.

At this point there’s no question that Seth MacFarlane was a terrible Oscar host. Not only were his jokes unfunny, tired, self-centered and boring, but also incredibly sexist, homophobic and racist. Boob jokes. Diet jokes. “No homo” jokes. Rape jokes. Abuse jokes. Slave jokes. Jew jokes. And to add to the atrocity, the whole act was punctuated by MacFarlane’s absurd preoccupation with whether or not he was a good host, which—as mentioned—he clearly was not. So perhaps he was right in asking “what did you expect?”

I’m not putting the video up, you can go watch ‘em all.   There are so many things wrong with getting the Gay Men’s Chorus to sing a song about “I saw your boobs” and then insisting you’re not a member of the chorus at the end that I don’t know where to start with that either.  MacFarlane did not miss the opportunity to mess with Ms. Wallis either.  Then, there’s an AP reporter who couldn’t take the time to learn the young girl’s name.  Here’s some great analysis from Racialiscious.

First, there was an Associated Press — Associated Press! — reporter on the red carpet before the show allegedly telling Wallis, “I’m gonna call you Annie,” instead of by her given name, for which the reporter was quickly and rightfully corrected. In another bizarre outburst, model Chrissy Teigen saw fit to call her “a brat.”

Then Oscars host Seth McFarlane chose to involve her in a joke about George Clooney’s supposed preference for younger women, saying, “To give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be about 16 years before she’s too old for Clooney.” Of course, there were more “jokes” where that came from throughout the evening.

And then came The Onion to steal the spotlight from him. Again: This is a nine-year-old girl. And these people think they have license to be “edgy” with her. Forget that it was an awards show.

It’s encouraging to note that not only were progressives and media critics up in arms over The Onion’s colossal misfire, but actors like Wendell Pierce, LeVar Burton and Marlee Matlin also publicly called the site out over it.

This morning we find that New York State Assemblyman Dov Kind celebrated Purim in blackface and found it great fun.  I can’t even believe what he would say if some black man had worn the stereotypical Jewish man costume for any celebration, so what’s the deal here?  He certainly had issues with Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” so why play stupid with the incredibly demeaning role that whites using “blackface” has played in the culture of our country?

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a massive Purim party at his home yesterday that featured over fourteen hours of food 541383_10151386799644504_660710837_nand drink and, as is customary on the Jewish holiday, elaborate costumes. Mr. Hikind said a professional makeup artist came to his home to transform him into a “basketball player” with a costume that consisted of an afro wig, sunglasses, an orange jersey and brown face paint.

“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players. Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player,” Mr. Hikind explained. “It was just a lot of fun. Everybody just had a very, very good time and every year I do something else. … The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

Hikind is a right wing Democrat and has taken some awful positions including outspoken support of racial profiling by the NYPD.  This is what makes the choice of costume even more questionable.

The last few years have been an eye-opening experience for me.  Last year, we spent a good deal of time listening to the mansplain about rape and incest in the political realm.  Now, we get to see that good ol’ clean humor and fun is all about making women, GLBT, and minorities the butts of jokes.  But, let me just ask, how big of an insensitive asshole do you have to be not to realize that a 9 year old girl should be off limits completely?  I guess some guys just are not going to get out of the deep end even when they’re drowning.

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43 Comments on “Swimming in the Deep End of White Male Privilege: It’s just all for fun!!”

  1. Delphyne says:

    Great post, Kat – thanks!

  2. HT says:

    Good grief, there are no words to describe my disgust. I hope my son will never stoop to these levels, but who knows these days? Racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny seem to be the flavour of the day for white men. Disgusting.

  3. RalphB says:

    Wonderful post. I’m very glad you did it!

  4. RalphB says:

    TPM: North Dakota School Investigating Fans At Hockey Game In KKK-Style Hoods

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A North Dakota high school principal says appropriate action is being taken after three students briefly donned Ku Klux Klan-style white robes and hoods Friday night during a state hockey semifinal game.

    The photo caused an uproar on Twitter when it was posted by 19-year-old Shane Schuster, who was seated with some friends at Ralph Engelstad Arena when something in the student section across the rink caught his eye.

    “I thought, ‘Are those KKK hoods?’ I couldn’t believe it,” Schuster said. “I was shocked.”

    Schuster said he focused his camera phone and snapped a photo, later uploading it to Twitter.

    Good grief! This is stupid.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Critics rip Seth MacFarlane for ‘dull’ and ‘sexist’ jokes at the Oscars

    Critics said the section was over-long, too self-referencing — and notably blasted a song called “We Saw Your Boobs,” which listed the actresses who had appeared topless on screen.

    “Watching the Oscars last night meant sitting through a series of crudely sexist antics led by a scrubby, self-satisfied Seth MacFarlane,” wrote culture bible The New Yorker.

    “That would be tedious enough. But the evening’s misogyny involved a specific hostility to women in the workplace… It was unattractive and sour.”

    • dakinikat says:

      He then joked about Jewish control of the American movie industry, saying his real name was Theodore Shapiro, adding: “I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you.”

      The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-Semitism watchdog, blasted the jokes as “offensive and not remotely funny.”

      “It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs,” said ADL national director in the US, Abraham Foxman.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here’s the link I posted this morning from The Atlantic: The Banality of Seth MacFarlane’s Sexism and Racism at the Oscars

      It shouldn’t be hard to come up with a sensible position on this. Everything, including punchlines about the Jews cutting non-Jews out of Hollywood, snickers about women faking the flu to lose weight, and cracks that there’s no need to try to understand what Salma Hayek’s saying because she’s so hot, is “OK.” It’s a free country, etc. But that doesn’t mean those jokes aren’t hurtful, obvious, or dumb. It doesn’t mean they don’t make the world a worse place. Humor, after all, can be an incredible weapon for social progress, but it can also be regressive: The more we pass off old stereotypes, rooted in hate, as normal—as MacFarlane did again and again last night—the longer those stereotypes, and their ability to harm people, will be in place. If only Captain Kirk had told us whether we’ll have moved past this nonsense by the 23rd century.

  6. RalphB says:

    Ashley Judd To Give Talk On Women’s Reproductive Health In D.C.

    Sounds like she’s going to run against McConnell to me and I’m in favor of it.

  7. RalphB says:

    While the sequester is getting the headlines, the GOP is going ahead full bore with it’s electoral vote rigging schemes in both Pennsylvania and Michigan. Those are the start cause this vote rigging fight isn’t nearly over yet.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Great post, Dak. Now I’m even more glad I didn’t watch the show last night. When I heard this guy was associated with “The Family Guy,” it knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

    • bostonboomer says:

      In another bizarre outburst, model Chrissy Teigen saw fit to call her “a brat.”

      Funny tweet in response to that:

      So according to Christine Teigen, it’s okay to call an accomplished nine year old child cocky..too bad she’s only known for being a beard.
      Reply RT Favorite GrlNeedsTherapy 20 hours ago

      Apparently Teigen is the girlfriend of John Legend.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Alan Colmes ‏@AlanColmes

    Bork From Beyond The Grave: Nixon Offered Me Supreme Court Nod In Return For Cox Firing http://colm.es/13LqOmP

  10. I guess my take on the show last night was in the minority. I fully expected those type of jokes from MacFarlane, and the boobs did not bother me as much. I thought he was making a reference to Benny Hill, with the little salute at the end. Monty Python has had some sexist skits, I mean the whole scene of Sir Galahad and Castle Anthrax in Holy Grail was one “pussy” joke after another.

    I also took the jokes about George Clooney dating women under 25 as a reference to his (and almost all of those hollywood male movie stars) choice of woman. They are always younger…way younger. It is sickening sometimes. Take Harrison Ford, he is the same age as my dad, and he is with a woman that is the same age as me.

    All in all I thought the show was typical, the host was typical, I thought MacFarlane did better than Franco did during his hosting job last year. The entire thing should be revamped and shortened. I don’t know why I watch the oscars all the time, I never even saw any of the films on this years list.

    As far as the cu*t reference, I was disgusted by the Onion, that was f’d up…

    • I guess what I want to get through in my comment is that what Seth MacFarlane did last night did not surprise me. In fact, it was toned-down…I actually expected worse from him. (Those who have seen him host those celebrity roast, you know what I’m talking about.) If anyone is to blame for his offensive hosting of the Oscars, it should be on the folks who hired him. Anyway, that is what my thoughts are on the whole thing. See y’all later tonight.

      • And I must say, the sock skit for the movie Flight made me laugh…

      • janicen says:

        I agree, JJ. There seems to be a bit of the phenomenon that happened with the first Bush/Gore debate where everyone who watched it thought Al Gore won until the next day when the press told us that Bush won and everyone started to agree. I’m not saying MacFarlane was great or even good, but he was himself and really the people who should be pilloried are the producers, Zadan and Meron who tried to turn it into the Tonys and wasted so much time promoting their own musicals. The show was boring. MacFarlane was very weak as a comedian and crossed the line with the Lincoln joke, but he wasn’t the only reason the show was bad. Nobody could have saved that show.

        • Janicen, this is what I am talking about. MacFarlane was MacFarlane:
          SHOCKING DEVELOPMENTS | Gin and Tacos

          if the Oscars hired a black bear to host the ceremony, who is to blame when it turns into a trainwreck? Is it the bear’s fault, or would it be more logical to ask, “What kind of moron would hire a bear to host the Oscars?”

          The world was deluged with “Seth McFarlane offended everyone on Earth and is a raging asshat” pieces today. He was highly offensive, crude, and not even particularly funny (note: if you’re going to be incredibly offensive you have to at least be funny). I’m reading all of this and thinking, “What exactly did they expect when they hired Seth McFarlane?” His humor is offensive, crude, sexist, homophobic, and ever since the first Family Guy cancellation, not particularly funny. He proceeded to deliver a performance that was offensive, crude, sexist, homophobic, and not particularly funny. Shocking.

          The many criticisms of McFarlane read like they could have been written two weeks ago, with the specific jokes added at the last minute. That makes perfect sense, since anyone with a functioning brain stem saw this coming a mile away: the gay jokes, the awful songs, the attempts to embarrass celebrities in the crudest possible way, the bathroom humor, all of it. So the issue is not McFarlane, as he merely did exactly what could have been expected of him in that situation. I mean, the guy is not going to go out there and do PG-rated Billy Crystal humor. If he tried that, it would probably be excruciating to see. It’s not what he does. No, the issue is with the Academy. They hired him. What made them think that was a good idea?

          It’s so much easier to blame individuals than a faceless organization. The idea that they would hire McFarlane and he would somehow censor himself or deliver a highbrow or family-friendly performance – something he has never done in the history of ever – is an effort to deflect blame from where it belongs. The Academy and the TV networks paid for shock value, they got it, and it worked (look at the coverage the “controversy” generated). So while everyone’s beating the dead horse and taking a whack at the asshole who was paid to be his asshole self and proceeded to be an asshole, the bigger issue – the judgment of people who have actual decision-making power – is ignored. Again.

    • dakinikat says:

      http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/02/25/1632871/why-seth-macfarlane-bombed-the-oscarsand-what-it-says-about-hollywood/

      Seth MacFarlane’s performance as an Oscar host last night was a perfect advertisement for MacFarlane’s brand of humor. He opened with a number about the fact that he—and we as audiences—have seen female Academy Award nominees’ breasts. It was a bit that could have been a perceptive riff about the fact that women are asked to get naked, and to get naked in different ways, than their male counterparts, and could have tweaked the 77 percent of Academy voters who are men for voting for those roles, rather than recognizing female actors for performances that are non-sexual. Instead, he went in an entirely different direction that made for a faster, but not nearly as deep joke, bringing in the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. A comedic sensibility that goes to Boobs + Gay Men Who Don’t Like Boobs = Hilarity may be commercially viable, but it’s as fleeting as adolescence.

      I dunno … maybe it’s because I expect more from humor today than humor 30 – 40 years ago. What really riled me was his insistence he wasn’t part of the chorus inferring he was’t gay … I have to admit I think family guy is awful. Benny Hill was completely sexist but he was a product of his time. I’m not sure about that Monty Python scene because there were women involved with it and I think Cleese’s girlfriend had some say in the writing. Afterall, it was the women that wanted the oral sex so it was objectiving the man not the women

    • bostonboomer says:

      I heard some clips of him this morning that were funny, but apparently the overall tone was sexist/racist/homophobic. The jokes about Clooney and younger women could be funny if they weren’t about 9-year-old girl who was already taking so much flack.

    • RalphB says:

      The only problem I have with his humor is it’s something like the cartoon, largely childish and more shocking than funny. Kind of like a toned down shock jock.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Thanks jj for your comments. I watched the Oscars and my reaction didn’t match the next day coverage either. I’m not a fan of McFarlane – although he has a great singing voice – and expected MUCH worse of him. Frankly, I was afraid to chime in here with my opinion.

      What none of the media seemed to realize is that the show wasn’t ad-libbed. The producers & participants rehearsed the pre-approved script. McFarlane & his type of juvenile humor is what makes big bucks at the box office & tv ratings. I heard yesterday that the most cherished demographic – the 18-30 group – rose with this Oscar show. It’s about attracting viewers so the network can charge more for their commercials. In the eyes of the industry, the show was a huge success.

      Personally I think I would have walked on hot coals so as not to miss Dame Shirley Bassey singing my favorite Bond song, Goldfinger & to see Barbra Streisand’s tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. The Way We Were always makes me cry & Streisand’s performance was incredible.

      • janicen says:

        Yes. I thought the humor was really kind of tame for MacFarlane. Totally agree about Bassey and Babs. Awesome performances.

  11. Mary Luke says:

    Kat, I’m 100% with you on the “C” is as bad as the “N”. Unacceptable. Always. So depressing.

  12. dakinikat says:

    CNN Host schools Bobby Jindal for spouting ‘misleading’ economic ‘nonsense’ http://thkpr.gs/XxiUgU #icymi