Seth MacFarlane Says His 2013 Harvey Weinstein Oscars Dig Came From 'A Place Of Loathing And Anger'
Comedian Seth MacFarlane, best known for creating Fox sitcom Family Guy and the Ted film franchise, raised eyebrows in 2013 with a pointed dig at Harvey Weinstein, which has been rediscovered as "decades' worth of sexual harassment accusation" against Weinstein were exposed in a New York Times article last week. MacFarlane stood by his joke on Wednesday, saying in a tweet, "Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger."
In announcing the 2013 Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress alongside Emma Stone in January 2013, MacFarlane joked, "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."
Here's the full announcement clip (MacFarlane's Weinstein quip is made at the 3:20 mark):
At the time, Weinstein's allegedly predatory behavior was an "open secret" in Hollywood, albeit one that few in the entertainment industry were willing to acknowledge publicly. An ever-growing number of victims have spoken out about Weinstein's alleged harassment since last week's New York Times exposé; this number includes Ted star Jessica Barth who told the New Yorker that Weinstein invited her to a business meeting at the Beverly Hills Peninsula hotel and demanded a naked massage.
In his Wednesday tweet, MacFarlane claimed that Barth confided in him about Weinstein's alleged harassment in 2011, which informed his controversial Oscars dig at Weinstein; "It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction," he said.
MacFarlane, who has frequently come under fire for using comedy material many have seen as misogynistic, ended his Twitter comment on a note of support for Weinstein's alleged victims, writing, "I respect and applaud my friend Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of the truth."
MacFarlane wasn't the only comedian to reference Weinstein's alleged sexual misdeeds long before the New York Times story made them public; Tina Fey's hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock took aim at Weinstein on two occasions, with Jane Krakowski's character Jenna Maroney noting, “I have turned down sex with Harvey Weinstein on no less than three occasions. Out of five.” In another episode, she lamented, “In some ways, I’m still pinned under a passed-out Harvey Weinstein, and it’s Thanksgiving.”
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences—which hosts the Oscars—released a statement on Wednesday condemning Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assault, calling the behavior of the 65-year-old producer, who is an Academy member, "repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents."
The Academy also announced that its Board of Governors will meet this Saturday to discuss "any actions warranted" against Weinstein.