An Open Letter to Jamie Lee Curtis or In Defense of Seth MacFarlane

Preface:

Thank you Lily in Canada for the idea. (This is about the Oscars, I have to thank someone.)

The 2013 Academy Award presentation was held February 24. I didn’t see it because I was busy at the beach.

Seth MacFarlane, creator of The Family Guy, hosted this year’s Oscars. And he sang this song:

The song made Naomi Watts look like this:

That guy can't see her boobs because he's not watching that movie where he could see them.

That guy can’t see her boobs because he’s not watching that movie where he could see them.

and Charlize Theron looked like this:

Charlize is dismayed and disgusted with Seth's song.

Charlize is dismayed and disgusted with Seth’s song.

And Huffington Post Blogger, Jamie Lee Curtis, posted this.  I’ll wait while you read it. Go ahead, it’s not very long.

Here is my Open Letter to Jamie Lee Curtis.

Dear Jamie,

Let me begin by saying that I really like both Trading Places and A Fish Called Wanda. Your dad’s movie, Some Like It Hot, is rightly one of the great movies of all time. Bye, Bye Birdie is one of my go to comfort movies. Your husband, Christopher Guest, is a comic genius and bravo to both of you for keeping a Hollywood marriage going for almost 30 years.

I write that to let you know that, while I have never met you, I appreciate your talent and the talent of your family. You seem like someone I would like.  But on the issue of the marvelous Seth MacFarlane song “We Saw Your Boobs” (hahaha), I disagree with your HuffPost blog.

The Academy knew what they were getting with Seth MacFarlane. I am a proud fan of The Family Guy and can’t wait to see the movie Ted again. The Academy, the show producers, the powers that be made the decision to not play it safe, knowing no one is safe with Seth MacFarlane. No one. And I think that is why he is so popular, he makes fun of everyone and everything. If you cringe, so be it. If you can’t handle it, there are 700 other channels to watch.

I didn’t understand the selection of MacFarlane to host the show mainly because he’s made his name in TV but it wasn’t my call. The Academy or at least the producers of the show were clearly aiming at a particular demographic with his selection. MacFarlane is funny, cuter than hell, has a great singing voice and no fear.

You didn’t like his song. You found it to be offensive. I’d say the song and dance number was juvenile but so what? It’s the Academy Awards, not midnight Mass. Perspective seems to have been lost in this uproar. The Academy Awards is an award show for people who did a good job acting in movies, or directing movies, or writing or stage design for MOVIES. These people didn’t cure cancer. (My mother died of cancer so if Charlize Theron or Naomi Watts want to figure that out, that would be fantastic.) They haven’t stopped child abuse. They haven’t made advances in healing and prosthetics for our returning veterans. Nope. They are really good at acting in movies, portraying roles, being paid to be someone else.

Jamie, you wrote that we should be talking about Argo’s “lovely win”. I’m with you there. I think Argo is a fantastic movie; and it is also a movie produced and directed by Ben Affleck. Ben was mocked universally and mercilessly during his Bennifer/Gigli days. Then in 2007, Gone Baby Gone was released and everyone sat up in their theater seats and said, “whoa, this guy is the real deal and he is a serious talent”. Did you listen to Ben’s acceptance speech? He had some wise words that are worth following both inside and outside Hollywood.

You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen.

I think the anger at Seth MacFarlane is misplaced. He was just having fun. He was simply being an entertainer, a comedian. Ernie Kovacs, Joan Rivers and George Carlin were all once vilified for going too far. That didn’t mean they weren’t talented, just edgy. Your frustration, anger and disgust would be better directed at the predominantly male Hollywood hierarchy of studio heads, writers, directors and producers. For example, I don’t think baring your breasts in Trading Places was necessary to movie the story along. The audience understood Ophelia was a hooker. After reading your above-referenced blog post, it appears that someone told you that you had to take your shirt off for that movie. Wouldn’t it make more sense to hold those decision makers responsible? Or, perhaps, even yourself? What price fame?

I don’t care if an actress appears topless or gives us the full Monty in a movie. Plenty have and there are those who have not. Julia Roberts played a hooker in Pretty Woman without showing her boobs. Julia Roberts has won an Oscar and has never showed her boobs.  The bottom line (har) is that if an actress decides to bare some or all of herself, she has to live with the decision and the repercussions, comments, reviews that come with it.

I am raising two teenage daughters in this digital age. I have done my best to impress upon them that once they post a photo on their phone, to Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, etc. that photo is there for GOOD. Just as once a movie is on celluloid, then VHS, then DVD, Netflix, YouTube…it’s permanent. If you don’t want anyone to make fun of something you did and made a permanent record of, then don’t do it.

To all the actresses upset by “We Saw Your Boobs” I say, “keep your shirts on.”

And to Seth, thank you for making me laugh till it hurts.

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53 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Jamie Lee Curtis or In Defense of Seth MacFarlane

  1. GiRRL_Earth says:

    You have a point, a very valid point. I like the way your write.

    I am utterly effing FED UP up with Hollywood and all those overpaid actors. While I am slogging my guts out 5 days a week in Corp. America, commuting 2 hours round trip 5 days week, living one paycheck away from poverty, these overpaid A-holes are living like retired people, choosing to take a role and work or not. Must be nice. I am a fan of JLC as well as her parents but I find it difficult to feel any empathy for her or any of these actors that wind up being made fun of. When actors cry about the Paparazzi following them, I say, “Tough! That’s the price you paid for fame. If you don’t like it, go be an accountant. Otherwise shut the F*ck UP!”

    As for the Oscars, I’ve got better things to do with my time than watch.

  2. Brigitte says:

    Applaud, applaud, Maggie. I LOVE good movies and I’m appreciative of the talent and “work” that goes into creating them. But I so agree with what you say here. You have expressed this perfectly. I remember an interview once with Denzel Washington and the interviewer asked him, “Are you going to take time off from work? You’ve been working so hard…blah, blah, several movies.” He said, laughing, “This isn’t work. Digging a ditch is work. THIS isn’t work.” I think far too many actors take themselves too seriously. I admire their craft but as you said, it’s not rocket science or a cure for disease and they are paid much more than those who do those things. Everything is a choice — including showing your boobs. Great post.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      Thanks Brig! Jennifer Lawrence, an academy award winning actress who has never shown her boobs, recently used the “not curing cancer” line when asked about her job. These people need Seth MacFarlane!

    • GiRRL_Earth says:

      Well said also! At least Denzel was being honest. The rest of them act like they are curing cancer. I can live without movies, I truly can. 6 months ago I canceled my cable. Now all I watch is PBS and I love it. I do not miss all the crap that I was paying ridiculous amounts of money for.

      • Brigitte says:

        I keep saying I’m going to do the same!! Good idea btw GiRRL.

      • Hollywood types are more out of touch with reality than any other people in the world. How can they not be? They’re stupid rich and famous. Beverly Hills problems must be rough. George Clooney’s self absorbed rant about whatever a few years ago made me want to find him and choke him, but I can’t afford air fare or time off from work…lol.

        • Maggie O'C says:

          Shoot, if I had known Don, I would have given you some miles to go choke ol’ Georgie boy! I love him but another one that really needs to lighten up!

        • GiRRL_Earth says:

          LOL! Yah he’s pretty smug. They all are. It’s nice that celebrities try and occupy their time by helping 3rd world countries and what not but I find their efforts and message disingenuous. They expect us poor working slobs to make donations and care about their causes while they rake in million dollar salaries.

          Note to George Clooney: F*ck YOU! You want to end poverty, write that county a check from your bank account, don’t go after my hard earned money. Oh and hey George, while I have your attention why don’t you sell that house of yours in Italy and donate the money.

          Ugh!

          There I go, off on a tangent. Sorry.

  3. Seth MacFarlane was an odd choice i agree, but he was fresh and fun. If you watch it back, I think you might see that their reactions are pre-recorded. Jennifer Lawrence is wearing a different dress. I think it was all blown out of proportion. Charlize Theron was obviously ok about it all seeing as suehe waltzed around the stage with Channing Tatum just after “we saw your boobs” was shown. Its all ridiculous! Fabulously written and a great letter!

  4. Seth McFarlane is more intelligent and talented than he gets credit far. Maybe he wasn’t the right choice, but they invited him and he was himself. It’d have been more disappointing had he tried to be something he’s not. Besides, boobs rule!

    • Maggie O'C says:

      I am in complete agreement with you. It is interesting to watch Family Guy and pay attention to the social commentary that is being made within the insane dialogue. He’s his own man and the Academy knew what they were doing.

      To the rest of them, Lighten Up Francis.

    • GiRRL_Earth says:

      I love it when he’s on Real Time with Bill Maher. Seth is brilliant and laughing all the way to the bank. 🙂

  5. BRAVO!!! Well said. Lily and I were like, WTF? Hollywood, that industry, is so hypocritical.

    Here’s the thing that no one realizes, and they made a big mistake with – basically they killed their own joke. The shots of Charlize Theron and other audience actresses scowling and looking upset were PRE recorded or edited. Look at their clothing… it’s not what they were wearing the night of the Oscars. The looks of disapproval were meant to be part of the joke but instead people didn’t understand that, and believed that Charlize Theron was really upset. If you listen to the sound – the audience is laughing hysterically. For those of us who watched it on TV, all we saw were looks of discomfort and contempt and it was confusing. He would have been better off showing the women laughing. Then NO ONE would have had a problem with it. As I stated in Lily’s post, do you think if George Clooney or Alec Baldwin did this that anyone would have a problem? No. They’re on the side of the fence that the audience feels comfortable with. They would never reprimand one of their own. (Lily pointed this out to me.)

    I like what Brigitte said, too. It’s not work, what they do. They get their ego stroked all day long, are given an envelope of cash EVERYDAY on the set (People don’t know this) This is their per diem money that goes beyond what they get paid. Shocking, right? They say one or two lines and retreat to their trailer. Two or three hours later they re-emerge and say another line or two. The ego stroking continues. If that’s work, then I’m the next Pope.

    The whole thing nauseates me. It’s a very false and fickle world that preys on insecurities, uses you, and throws you away. They can suck it!! 😀 That’s for Seth Macfarlane – may he go on to do greater things than the stupid Oscars.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      Thanks to Lily and her mom for getting this going! I didn’t realize the reactions were pre-recorded until Bianca mentioned it above. Then what the hell was Jamie Lee so wound up about?! It’s an Awards Show….who cares??? Love you two!

  6. twindaddy says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Great job!

  7. I didn’t know the reactions by the actresses were prerecorded! I guess, then, they could’ve been reacting to something else – maybe their Spanx were too tight or they had to use the restroom. 😉 But, I did think Seth was a strange choice of hosts – I think the Academy makes wacky decisions when it comes to hosts. Anyone who is not familiar with Seth’s humor might be offended. I, personally, thought he was funny and so darn handsome!

    • Maggie O'C says:

      I had no idea Seth was such a cutie! I didn’t know the reactions were clips from something else but the fact remains. Jamie Lee Curtis got her bra in a twist over it 🙂

      • Kathleen says:

        I agree Seth is a cutie, and has a honey voice. If you have a chance you should see him/them on Inside the Actors Studio.

        • Kathleen says:

          Sorry Mags, I didn’t realize it would post a pic. Here’s another one really worth watching. Robin Williams. A woman in the audience actually hurt something laughing so hard. Just add the http:// youtube.com/watch?v=owGMZ6yJ57o

  8. Lily says:

    This post was amazing. I love everything you said–especially the part about actors/actresses not curing cancer or really doing anything meaningful in life. The fact that Jamie Lee Curtis wants us to “honor” the ceremony or whatever is so stupid. Like, calm down.

    Also, I love that she admits that she didn’t want to take her shirt off. Sooo she did it anyway and that makes her a good actress?

    And I love that she thinks the word “boobs” is “a 14-year old boy’s derogatory word.” She’s now on my hit-list.

    I love that clip! Stewie is such a great character. He and Brian are the perfect team.

  9. El Guapo says:

    Very well written and well said, Maggie!
    I’m not going to defend Jainie (though Trading Places and Fish Called Wanda were brilliant (my girl also said she was pretty good in NCIS)), but it would be nice if boob jokes could be made without anyone interpreting it as demning or derogatory, and just enjoy the joke. If it’s funny…

  10. Maggie O'C says:

    For the first time ever, I just liked my own post because the Family Feud clip at the end is so damn funny.

    Name something you do on weekends! Black guys! hahahaha

  11. FREAKIN’ EXCELLENT POST, MAGGIE! I thought the song was brilliant (and I didn’t watch the show- but did watch the clip you put in – thank you for rounding out my pop culture deficits). People are so quick to be insulted about the choices they made… if you hang ’em out you don’t get to be offended when some one points it out…

  12. TAE says:

    I wrote elsewhere that you shalt not try to find logic or make sense of a Pavlovian reflex (Macfarlane enjoying immature humor), and got grilled for it…the upset faces of actresses btw: cut in afaik.
    Great post.

  13. The Waiting says:

    I’m thinking Freshly Pressed round two for you, Mags. Excellent post.

  14. Courtney says:

    AMEN!!!!! Love your whole letter.

  15. I’m with you on this. I wasn’t sure what to think when I read loads of posts bemoaning the loss of glamour and glitz at the Awards but it’s true. They are actors not AIDS curers. In the same way that the job I do is fairly run of the mill and I wouldn’t expect someone to be all humbled around me. We must contextualise. Nothing very big has happened. It’s not as though we won’t have seen the boobs if the song hadn’t been sung. No, we’ve still seen them. Also, didn’t Ricky Gervais get a similar outcry against him when he presented some award ceremony?

  16. Maggie, be honest. Do you think if Seth saw my boobs he’d write a song about them? (Please say yes).

  17. “I’d say the song and dance number was juvenile but so what? It’s the Academy Awards, not midnight Mass.” I completely agree with you about this one. I have much bigger issues with Ang Lee owning two Best Director Academy Awards for films that didn’t win Best Picture, especially for “Brokeback Mountain” getting dissed. I love AL and I think that’s much more wrong. He never would have gotten it this year had the Academy not dropped the ball on Ben Affleck.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      What movie won the year of Brokeback? I loved that movie, to risque for Hollywood. Gack.

      • Crash. Phony liberal dreck at its most extreme — and I’m a huge liberal (even though I’m pretty sure you like me). Every frame of that film struck me as false from start to finish. Give me Brad Pitt’s Babel, but the Academy Award should have gone to Brokeback, the most honest love story to have come out of Hollywood in years.

  18. Andrew says:

    I never thought I would be agreeing with actresses “keeping their shirts on”. But I think you have a point.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      🙂
      They don’t have to keep them on but if they decide to go without, go ahead and do it and don’t worry about it. That’s what I do when I go to work without a shirt on.

  19. Giggety Giggety Maggie, this is the best. We are a Family of Family Guy Fans. My Motto: The Family that watches Family Guy together is a Fun Family. Okay, maybe weird too. But that’s us. One son has Stewie’s “ma ma ma ma ma ma mommy mommy Lois” as the ring tone for when I call him even! We all have our favorite Brianisms. And because we live half-time in Rhode Island, we have our own E. Peterbus Unum flag flying outside.

    NOW, all that said, I think the Oscars was all wrong asking Seth. You know as well as I do, Hollywood types don’t think their shi* smells, so they want to be praised not mocked. And Seth does mocking like no one else. He’s the King of Mocking. He’s a Rock Star Mocker. And for Jamie Lee not to get that? WTF? She married to the genius Guest? I say Jamie must have forgotten her Activia the day she wrote that letter! 🙂

    PS: Belated happy 40th. I am really late in reading all your posts while we were gone.

  20. Bella says:

    LOVE IT! Seth McFarlane is awesome! And yes, I agree wholeheartedly about actors and their ilk. Getting an award for pretending to be someone better than most people can pretend is good, but not worth getting my panties in a bunch. They need to chill.

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