on February 25th, 2013 at 10:23 am
I haven't seen the Oscars, but I know enough of McFarlane's work (he's the Family Guy one, isn't he?) that I suspect if he were called on it he'd say it was "ironic." Possibly with air quotes, which would also be "ironic." And so on.
I think that "ironic" has become an excuse for quite a lot of old-fashioned douchebaggery, if that's the word I'm groping for, and I'm very much afraid we started it, with the egregious Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part. I don't believe for a moment that the writers and producers of that show did not know--did not factor into their deliberations--that a vast sector of the population of Britain would hear Garnett's vile racism and sexism and take him to their hearts as "one of us," "telling it like it is." I think they expected that and were happy to get the increased viewing figures. I think Peter Griffin in Family Guy, like Homer in The Simpsons, is a direct descendant of Garnett, and that his writers cynically play both ends against the middle, making the unregenerate laugh with hate-based humour and then turning round to the rest of us with a broad grin (and fingers crossed behind the back) and saying "Hey, come on, it's ironic! Can't you take a joke?"
Personally, I never could take that kind of joke. Or that kind of duplicity.