Alright, I will get this out of the way before I say anything else. Ellen DeGeneres was an awesome host last night. The Oscars definitely felt more personal than it ever had before. Her mingling in the audience and sort doing improv and having fun translated itself really well to the viewing audience. I know this has quite a bit to do with the fact that she hosts her own show and has hung out and interacted with many of these stars before. But I realized something about halfway through the show. If Seth McFarlane did the same bits she was doing (word for word), he would have been mocked, called mean, and called unprofessional. So why is that? Well, let’s compare Seth McFarlane as host to Ellen Degeneres as host, and the answer will be more clear than you think.
Let’s take one bit from last night and imagine McFarlane doing it, shall we? How about the (decidedly awesome) pizza ordering? If Seth MacFarlane had done that exact bit (going around the audience and asking famous people if they wanted pizza, and then ordering it and handing it out to stars), people would have thought it unprofessional. Like he was just winging it, and it might not have worked. So why did it work? Well, truth is, Ellen has pretty much won everyone’s respect. She busts her butt on her show, and it has been consistently entertaining for years. She has basically earned our respect.
Whereas many people think Seth McFarlane is sexist and a bit too edgy at times, so that translates itself to how an audience sees you and how people interact with you. The thing you need to consider is, the stars would not have reacted the same way to Seth as they did Ellen in that scenario.
BUT, if Seth had made the same joke Ellen made to Jonah Hill, he would have been crucified today for it. I thought it was hilarious, but man, if he pulled that towards a female star, all hell would have broken loose. That, I have no excuse for. I guess popular people can just get away with more.
[Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty]