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Seth MacFarlane and Jewish Hollywood

Looking at last night’s jokes at the Academy Awards

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Ted (voice by Seth MacFarlane) With Mark Wahlberg(Screengrab)

If you gave in and lent the Academy Awards nearly 17% of your Sunday, you may be feeling some remorse. At the center of the attention this morning is Seth MacFarlane, television’s highest-paid producer/writer, who was tapped to host the Oscars.

It was an indulgent performance, stocked with the kind of commentary that will give lowly bloggers like me and high critics plenty of material to fixate on throughout the week. MacFarlane was funny, not funny, sexist, racist, juvenile, clever, and offensive in alternating bouts. The Daily Beast took the effort to combine many of the offensive bits into one long clip, which should sum things up.

One exchange that did not make the recap featured MacFarlane’s animated teddy bear character Ted, who “appeared” at the Academy Awards with actor Mark Wahlberg via a soundstage. Good footage of the whole thing is still hard to come by, but in essence, MacFarlane riffed about the insidery nature of Hollywood and alluded to Jewish control of the industry.

In the shtick, Ted hopes of advancing his career by explaining to the crowd that his real name is Theodore Shapiro.

“I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you.”

Ted then draws reference to “secret synagogue meetings” where he expects to be gifted his own plane.

It didn’t seem to get many laughs, but having seem some of his other controversies involving jokes about Jews, knowing that MacFarlane’s jokes went after everyone last night, and having heard him say some thoughtful things about comedy in general, I’m not particularly bugged by this.

Last summer, he was profiled by the New Yorker, here’s some of what he said:

“We are presenting the Archie Bunker point of view and making fun of the stereotypes–not making fun of the groups. But if I’m really being honest, then maybe there’s a part of me that’s stuck in high school and we’re laughing because we’re not supposed to. I don’t know the psychology. At the core, I know none of us gives a shit. Some people say that stereotypes exist for a reason. I’m in no way qualified to make that determination. But I’m sitting in a room with a writing staff that is in large part Jewish, and those are the guys pitching the jokes.”

In other words, it seems likely that MacFarlane would be bruised more by the fact that the jokes weren’t funny rather than by any controversy his work could generate.

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The jokes were awkward and tasteless. Why make “Jewish jokes” – where were the “Catholic jokes”, the “Protestant jokes”, the “Buddhist jokes”? It frankly threw a sort of anti-Semitic cast on McFarlane and Wahlberg…

marjorie ingall says:

i’m all for bruising him more! UNFUNNY. i’m good with offensive/funny (hello, aristocrats, funniest movie ever). chanting BOOBS BOOBS BOOBS Jews run Hollywood Hot Latinas Talk Funny BOOBS BOOBS eating disorders BOOBS: not funny.

Michael McTague says:

Seth’s mom is a jew…. so it isn’t as bad as a guy with a german accent….

brynababy says:

I agree. They were stupid, unfunny attempts. But then , most of his jokes, were NOT!

BeHumanandDecent says:

GET YOUR LIFE!…what ever!

Oh come on, the Jewish community maintains that anti-Semitism is irrational and yet Jews dominate Hollywood, Burbank, Wall Street, the news media, and the Washington lobby. Their disproportional power and wealth exists despite the fact that according to most Jewish sources there are only 13 million Jews in the entire world. Either Jews are genetically superior, in which case anti-Semitism (by all those who are inferior) is entirely logical, or Jews conspire to work together as an ethnic group to protectand promote their collective interests, in which case anti-Semitism is, guess what, entirely logical. You can’t have it both ways. The number of ‘bergs’ and ‘steins’ who were mentioned in the Oscars amply demonstrates that if you want to succeed in Hollywood you either have to be Jewish, have a Jewish name, or be married to a Jew. It’s a fact, get over it and get over the fact that Mcfarlane took the justifiable p**s out of the whole thing.

Oh come on people, lighten up! Seth McFarlane was clearly just making fun of the stereotype (as he always does). Have a laugh (if you find it funny) or don’t (and yes, my background is Jewish). I find Sipu more disturbing. In my country, most of the Judges in the highest Court of Law are Catholic…does that mean there is a world-wide conspiracy? Perhaps the Jews aren’t focusing enough on taking over the world? And those black athletes dominating track and field – they must be having secret meetings in Kenya right? Any concentration of any ‘group’ in any area of life must necessarily be a ‘conspiracy’? Seriously – get a life (or at least an education).

Bubby Brisco says:

Wow… I’ve seen some stupid comments before but it’s not as if we haven’t heard 10,000 times about how those dirty Jews control Hollywood, the banks and everything else from numerous well known virulent anti-semitic sources. You really need to get an education and out of the cave you’ve been hiding. It’s about as well known as walking over to a black man with a noose and trying to tell him to lighten up.

Bubby Brisco says:

Or that angry talentless hacks like you will spew hatred on others out of petty jealousy.

Frank Finnegan says:

Things said half in jest are half in truth. Is it possible that the Jews are demographically over represented in Hollywood?

tombarnes says:

The American Moment Magazine is subtitled, “The Jewish
Magazine for the ’90s”. Its edition of Aug. 1996 carries the
startling headline “Jews Run Hollywood – So What?” The author
is the Jew Michael Medved who states:

“It makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality
of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture. Any list of the
most influential production executives at each of the major movie
studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish
names.”

Are you serious??? I’m Jewish so I don’t need you telling me what to think about anti-semitism thanks. I was being sarcastic to show the previous commenter just how ridiculous his argument is and how little sense it makes, not agreeing with him! What I’m saying is, learn when something is poking fun at a stereotype (Seth McFarlane) and when it’s virulent and blatant anti-semitism (like Sipu’s comments).

Who cares if they are (assuming they really are)? Why does that mean a sinister conspiracy?

I would think that by now, Seth has the bona-fides about his style of humor, what with 11 seasons of Family Guy, eight seasons of American Dad, and two plus seasons of The Cleveland Show.

Running many of the episodes through my mind, I cannot think of a single group that Seth’s comedy hasn’t tried to offend.

Religion, sexual orientation, politics, ethnicity, physical and mental handicaps. It’s all in there. And that, is the critical point. Seth’s humor isn’t out to bash any single group, it bashes everyone with the same oversized hammer.

When it’s good, the comedy is sharp. And, while one can make a reasonable comment that it’s not always sharp, one can’t argue that he’s picking on ‘just me’ (pick your sacred cow) because he hasn’t.

This comedy is in the same raunchy family tree as The Simpsons, Futurama, and South Park.

You may be Jewish but unfortunately not swift enough to realize someone poking fun and one who takes the joke too far by also adding in donations to Bnei Brith as if any of that was necessary and not a reinforcement of a Jewish stereotype that is now being echoed in numerous media outlets as just “a truth” about Hollywood so it’s OK to depict as if discrimination occurs.

Bubby Brisco says:

It’s one thing to say that Jews are prominent in Hollywood. It’s another to say that you need to change your name and make donations to Bnei Brith to buy your way into an exclusive club in order to overcome discrimination. McFarlane knew exactly what he was doing and he’s laughing in the faces of all the people trying to rationalize that he was “just joking.”

PBS recently ran a widely viewed and much accliamed special called “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy”. It opened with a tidbit from Monty Python’s “Spamalot”that featured Sir Robin merrily singing: “In any great adventure, if you don’t want to lose…you won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews.”.

Seth McFarlane may have overdone it somewhat, but let’s not get carried away!

Our major corporations that paid zero taxes and received refunds mostly Jewish owned, guess pointed this out is Anti-Semitic Rich German Jews financed Hitler and help construct Concentration camps to kill poor Jews but pointing that out would be Anti-Semitic. “Bank of International Settlements” is the head of the Central Banks, it started as the Nazi Germany National Bank whose first Board directors were WALTER FUNK and EMIL PUHL both convicted at the Nuremberg trials.And this just scratches the surface of Modern Jewish history. But pointing that out would be Anti-Semitic. Many old Jews are anti-Israel for their ties to Rich German Jews who helped Adolph.

lisafr4@hotmail.com says:

“Dirty Jews” OMG – crawl back under your rock, please do us all a favor.

lisafr4@hotmail.com says:

Did you have to take your poster of Hitler down from your wall to be able to write this commentary?

“Not swift enough” hey? I simply disagree with your interpretation (and so do my three university degrees) and that’s my right. In the broad sense, neither of us like anti-semitism (or any form of racism), but clearly our senses of humour differ enormously, so let’s leave it at that.

Exactly! I agree.

And what about Mel Brooks? He makes hysterical Jewish jokes (although I realise it’s different to do so when you are Jewish yourself)

Exactly. I think Mel Brooks would have had a chuckle.

What, you forgot the episode with Peter Griffen’s father taking on the Pontiff?

There’s a slight difference between communal self-deprecation and an outsider attempting to get ‘in’ with the community by making the same jokes. It doesn’t always work.

I’m not sure if you get the same response to Hitler on Ice or The Inquisition with another director.

That said, take a look at Blazing Saddles and you see similar humor from outside the community vis a vis African Americans. But there too, Brooks was letting the air out of the huffery of white / WASP treatment of all minorities.

But that’s the thing with Seth, he has produced a large enough body of work for people to be able to say, ahh, yeah, he’s an equal opportunity offender. I remember the line from Family Guy when Peter Griffen first realized that his neighbor Joe was paralyzed when he said “Holy Crip! He’s a Crapple!!” Plenty of other such gems from the Indian casino, to the send up of southern Americans. Seth is right down there in the muck with the rest of us unwashed heathens (which reminds me of the Freshman episode, but I digress).

But what else would one expect from a star quality ‘Stand-up Philosopher’.

Jorge, let me ask you a question. Are you that stupid naturally or did your mother accidentily drop you on your head a few dozen times while you were growing up?

Exactly! Don’t even get him started on the Spanish Inquisition! ;)

Yes, point taken re communal self-deprecation versus outsider…it is a fine line and you can’t obviously always know whether people are hiding behind a veil of humour with some pretty deplorable beliefs, but I think you are right that really he just takes a massive swipe at anyone and is an “equal opportunity offender” plus I liked his Mel Gibson joke!

josh316 says:

Jews are overrepresented in all the intellectual professions. Some may justify this (while chastising white men) by appealing to meritocracy. However, Ron Unz has shown that Jewish achievement has declined sharply while admission into elite schools has not.

However one would be mistaken to forget the achievements of the Jewish people, which are utterly spectacular in proportion to their meager share of the population.

Academia, the media and even government warn of the immorality of white male control of the institutions. Some even think that it’s not only immoral but counter productive; they believe that America would incur a net increase in the economic, scientific and artistic spheres if its institutions and population were to decline in whiteness.

But Whites are not overrepresented in any institution that exerts power. In fact, the prevalence of Jews in the institutions of power in this country make it impossible for white males to be overrepresented.

Is it then any surprise that one cannot criticise Jewish overrepresentation?

*rabblerabblerabblerabble* Seriously, why is everyone so upset? Seth made jokes. If you find them funny, laugh. If you don’t find them funny, don’t laugh. If you’re close-minded enough to be offended, don’t tune in. Everyone knew who was hosting the Oscars and it’s no secret what kind of humor Seth Macfarlane uses. I’m sure the Oscar police didn’t hold a gun to your head and force you to watch their program.

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elie says:

i don’t care about this

vildechaye says:

It sounds like Family Guy condensed. I don’t much care for Family Guy (but my kids do), nor do I ever watch the Oscars, but whoever chose McFarlane must have known what he would do, since he does the same every week on his show.

Look, Seth was terrible that night, D minus. The boobs songs was low class and tasteless. Sad how the Oscars have become so low in recent years, no more Greg Pecks, John Waynes, great speeches by great stars, now it’s all kindergarten crap. BUT the thing to know about Seth’s Jewish jokes, he does not write them, the self-hating self-loathing Jewish men and women on his writing staff write them, pitch them to him and he okays them. So do not blame Seth. He just writes the checks to staffers. sign me danny bloom, 1949-2032, and google polar cities at pcillu101 to see what you really should be concerned with. Jews in Hwood? Robert Redford is Jewish. Please!

JustTrolling says:

Shel Adelson?

Seth is covering himself. You can tell he loves his role, one of the few gentiles in Hollywood who can stick it to the Jews and get away with it. The Jews take it because they value money above everything else.

Reuben_NYC says:

You saw Mel Brooks making fun of Jews in his movies? He may have used Jewish characters in his movies but he didnt make fun of them. In Blazing Saddles he made fun of blacks (The N word was used dozens of times) and in Life Stinks he made fun of latinos and blacks (Fumes character putting alchohol in everything he ate) but when have you actually seen him make fun of Jews? Men In Tights? nope didnt make fun of them just had a character with a yiddish accent using yiddish words , a sight gag seeing a Rabbi in Medieval England but he didnt make fun of them.

This has nothing to do with Mel Brooks, but new movie Broken City starring Mark Wahlburg and produced by some big Jewish names, one of the goofs listed iin IMDB is “In Jack Valliant’s elections headquarters there’s a poster with the Hebrew word for “Jewish”. Though those are the correct letters of the word, they’re written left to right instead of right to left (hsiwej).” A line spoken by obviously non-Jewish main character Billy Taggart (Wahlburg) is “where did you get those seat covers it looks like something from Gaza”, an obvious jab at Palestinians

Waaah waaaah, oh what a bunch of Jews whining over some bad jokes – whatssa matter, can’t take any of your own medicine? So when your kind makes fun of others, it’s ‘lighten up, it’s only a joke’, but when the tables are turned it’s suddenly something sinister? You’re pathetic if you can’t take a joke, losers….

No. Did you?

That’s weird = most people in Hollywood are angry talentless hacks themselves – and guess what? Most of them are Jews! Jokes’ on you! Ho ho ho …

Well … nepotism IS a Jewish tradition after all! Pity an ability to laugh at oneself isn’t!

So if a Jew tells jokes on other Jews, he’s being ‘self referential’, but if he writes the SAME jokes for a gentile, suddenly he’s ‘self loathing’. Hmm, I’ll keep that in mind ….

What, you think that the heads of network and cable TV actually WATCH the rubbish they put on air?

So what? He laughs at the faces of ALL the peoples he mocks on his shows – you knew that the minute you hired him to host the show. What – upset that the jokes on you now?

Mel gibson says:

hey do you wanna hear a joke?

Jews.

SuzieJoeBob says:

Why is it that Jews get their own special word for prejudice against them, but no one else does??? Go fuck yourself, because as long as he makes fun of everybody, then who cares???

(((HOLY SHIT))) MEL GIBSON WAS RIGHT TO BE
SCARED…

The Godfather (Marlon Brando) is PISSED OFF at
Jews in Hollywood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv4UOwAWhpU

Hollywood An Empire Of Their Own (1 of 3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2YZws9xYEQ

Criminal Rothschilds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USGSOViaulc

2000

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Seth MacFarlane and Jewish Hollywood

Looking at last night’s jokes at the Academy Awards

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