Seth MacFarlane’s unevenly received stint as the host of last night’s Oscars has now drawn the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League over “Jewish jokes” aired during the telecast.
The Jewish media-monitoring organization (ADL), led by Abraham Foxman, took exception on Monday morning blasting MacFarlane and the Academy for a segment of the show it believes perpetuate anti-semitic stereotypes.
The skit in question featured actor Mark Wahlberg and Ted — the expletive-prone, digital teddy bear — that “starred” alongside Wahlberg and Mila Kunis in the MacFarlane-directed hit Ted last summer.
After walking on stage to introduce awards for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, Ted — voiced by MacFarlane — joked that Jews controlled Hollywood and that being Jewish was necessary to advance in the industry, said The Hollywood Reporter.
After questioning Wahlberg about the origin of the “Berg” part of his last name, to which Wahlberg gruffly replied that he was “catholic” — Ted declared:
“I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever.”
But while the Dolby Theater audience seemed to find the sketch amusing, the ADL did not, Media Market Journal notes.
“While we have come to expect inappropriate ‘Jews control Hollywood’ jokes from Seth MacFarlane,” wrote the ADL,”what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny. It only reinforces stereotypes which legitimize anti-Semitism. It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs.”
The group’s statement went on to point out that the Academy’s international audience might not have known the “Jewish” skit was meant as a joke.
“For the insiders at the Oscars this kind of joke is obviously not taken seriously. But when one considers the global audience of the Oscars of upwards of two billion people, including many who know little or nothing about Hollywood or the falsity of such Jewish stereotypes, there’s a much higher potential for the ‘Jews control Hollywood’ myth to be accepted as fact. We wish that Mr. MacFarlane and the Academy Awards producers had shown greater sensitivity and decided against airing a sketch that so reinforces the age-old canard about Jewish control of the film industry.”
Historically, this isn’t the first time the ADL has complained about MacFarlane.
In 2009, the group complained about an episode of Family Guy titled “Family Goy,” which the ADL said used “excessive negative stereotypes about Jews and money.”
After watching part of the sketch below, feel free to sound off on whether you think the Anti-Defamation League have a point or whether the jokes heard were harmless.