California lawmakers call out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for sexism

In a letter to the academy, lawmakers wrote Seth MacFarlane "reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures"

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California lawmakers call out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for sexismSeth MacFarlane during the Oscars on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013. (Credit: AP/Chris Pizzello)

Two California state lawmakers have joined other smart men and women in condemning Oscar host Seth MacFarlane’s comments during Sunday’s awards presentation.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus, sent a letter to Academy president Hawk Koch on Tuesday calling on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to use “better judgment” when selecting a host for next year.



“There was a disturbing theme about violence against women being acceptable and funny,” the lawmakers wrote. “From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about `boobs’ during a film’s rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny.”

And in what seems like a very honest assessment of the evening, they closed their letter thusly:

“On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane’s monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself.”

Sounds about right.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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