Jewish organizations shouldn’t watch comedians like Seth MacFarlane and expect political correctness. The Anti-Defamation League and Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned jokes that Seth MacFarlane made as Anti-Semitic at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and they are wrong. MacFarlane was a great host of the Oscars – and an equal offender of Jews, as well as everyone from George Clooney, Kim Kardashian and the man who killed Lincoln.
MacFarlan is a comedian making jokes – and his whole shtick is not-politically correct nor meant to be. As he sang a song “We Saw Your Boobs”, joked about losing weight, Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek not speaking English, homosexuality and many other things, the audience laughed.
Aren’t there much more important things for American Jewish organizations to worry about than inane jokes? Last night, “Ted” told his costar Mark Wahlberg that if he “wants to work in this town” he needs to be Jewish. He added “I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever.” The character insinuated there was a secret Hollywood Jewish cabal which controls the industry. And perhaps it is offensive – but its humor.
These jokes aren’t dangerous to the Jewish community and indeed as the laughs and cheers throughout indicated, Seth MacFarlane did a great job according to viewers, with an average of 40.3 million viewers tuned in to the Oscar telecast. Ratings were up 2% over last year, and the best since 2010. Mazel Tov.
Jewish organizations shouldn’t be the judges of humor, and people shouldn’t check with the ADL or the Simon Wiesenthal Center before laughing. No secure Jew should feel remotely threatened by anything MacFarlane said.
The Zionist visionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky many years ago wrote that Jews “…must learn to laugh” – which means in part that Jews need to develop confidence. Be confident and laugh and live.
This Jewish PR firm owner says thanks are due to Seth MacFarlane for making us laugh.