Geena Davis, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jane Fonda have waded into the ongoing controversy over this year’s Oscar ceremony by saying host Seth MacFarlane’s routine was disrespectful to women, particularly the performers who were being honoured.
But not everyone is upset, with Halle Berry among a minority of female stars defending MacFarlane.
Thelma & Louise star Davis says MacFarlane’s much-criticised routine last month overshadowed the win of an animated film with a strong female character.
"It’s a shame that that triumph was enveloped in an awards ceremony containing disrespect for women," Davis told members of the California Assembly during a ceremony in Sacramento.
"But it helps illustrate how tone-deaf we can still be regarding the status of women."
She commended Brave, which won best animated picture, as setting a positive example for girls.
Davis, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for The Accidental Tourist in 1988, was in the State capital as one of 11 California women honoured for their achievements.
She is chairwoman of the State’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and founded a non-profit organisation that promotes gender equality in the media.
Last week, two female State politicians sent a letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asking it to condemn MacFarlane’s quips about nude scenes and the attractiveness of several female actresses as degrading towards women.
At one point during the Oscars ceremony, MacFarlane performed a song about "boobs" and referenced several rape scenes among his list of movies with actresses appearing topless.
The academy issued a general statement defending MacFarlane and saying the award show is about "creative freedom".
Curtis has joined the ranks of those offended by MacFarlane’s humour, insisting his jokes amounted to nothing but a "cheesy vaudeville show".
Curtis was particularly turned off by the host’s cheeky We Saw Your Boobs song, in which he poked fun at past and present Best Actress Oscar winners for baring their breasts on film.
In her column for the Huffington Post, Curtis writes: "As an Academy member, as the child of former Academy members and as a woman, I expected more from the best that the movie business has to offer. The Oscars are about honouring art and artists.
"The ’boob’ song, as it will be known in perpetuity, may go down as the highest-rated Oscar number in history, but at what cost? I’m sure public executions would get big ratings too, but is that what the Oscars are truly about? Ratings? When did they turn into a ’roast’?
"At least at a roast you know what’s in store. What if actors and actresses stopped attending the Oscars because it was deemed open session to ridicule and parody them? Would the Academy be so cavalier then?
"What we will be talking about is Seth’s lack of class and a 14-year-old boy’s derogatory word for one of the most beautiful, motherly and literally nurturing parts of the female form."
Fonda was another star upset by MacFarlane’s jokes.
"What I really didn’t like was the song and dance number about seeing actress’ boobs," Fonda blogged.
"I agree with someone who said, ’If they want to stoop to that, why not list all the penises we’ve seen’?"
But the funnyman, who has stated he will never return to the Oscars stage as host, has his celebrity fans too.
Berry, who was name-checked in his We Saw Your Boobs song, says: "He did what he wanted to do. That’s his brand of comedy and people will love it and they will hate it."I thoroughly enjoyed the show... It takes so much to offend me these days after all the things that have been said about me, to me, so I didn’t feel offended by that boob song."
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