NEW YORK (6NoBacon) — Even though "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane served as host, the 85th Academy Awards show went off without controversy.
Not unexpectedly for those who’ve seen "Family Guy" and know MacFarlane’s humor, his monologues offered a plethora of politically incorrect jokes, comments and songs. What particularly raised Jewish hackles was MacFarlane making remarks about Jews running Hollywood in the guise of Ted, an offensive and fuzzy Bostonian teddy bear that MacFarlane created and voiced in his film of that name. "Ted" star Mark Wahlberg joined him on stage.
That it was Ted and not MacFarlane didn’t stop the Anti-Defamation League and its chief, Abraham Foxman, from blasting the Oscars broadcast.
"It is sad and disheartening that the Oscars awards show sought to use anti-Jewish stereotypes for laughs,” the ADL said in a statement.
Along with engendering a debate about whether MacFarlane was being funny or had crossed a line into anti-Semitism, the Oscars offered happiness and disappointment for filmdom’s Jews. On the winning side, Daniel Day Lewis, the son of a Jewish mom, brought home the statuette for best actor, becoming the first actor to win the award three times. William Goldenberg won for "Argo," which took best picture. He also was on the losing side, having been nominated for his work in "Zero Dark Thirty."
On the losing side were Steven Spielberg, who fell short for best director in "Lincoln" alongside losing for top film, and two Israeli documentaries, "5 Broken Cameras" and "The Gatekeepers."
Jews performed, too: Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon Levitt did a dance duet, Sacha Baron Cohen was shenanigans-free during the "Les Miserables" presentation, and Barbra Streisand sang at the Oscars for the first time in 36 years to honor the late composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch and other Hollywood icons who died last year.
Raisman to dance with the stars
After tearing it up on the floors of London arenas last summer, Jewish Olympics gold medalist Aly Raisman is aiming to do the same on ABC’s "Dancing With The Stars." Early Tuesday morning, the show announced that Raisman, who danced her floor routines at the games to "Have Nagila," will join celebs such as boxer Victor Ortiz, Olympics gold-medal ice skater Dorothy Hamill, comedians D.L. Hughley and Andy Dick, and others on the show’s 16th season.
Wear Nev’s chest hair
Yaniv "Nev" Schulman, star of the documentary turned MTV show "Catfish," wants you to wear his chest hair.
Nev, who is known for his magnificent hairy chest, released a "Catfish"-themed line of clothing, with one shirt featuring his exact chest-hair pattern. The 2010 documentary "Catfish" followed Nev as he started a Facebook relationship with a woman without meeting her, only to find a surprising fact about her true identity.
The MTV show follows Nev and cameraman Max Joseph as they force people in online relationships to confront each other and find out whether each side is real or fake. Joseph, known for his gray hair, also has his own T-shirt design with the writing “Max is the Greytist.”
The show gained popularity when Notre Dame football player’s Manti Te’o’s fake-girlfriend story broke in January, and recently finished a successful first season.
A few weeks ago Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine impersonated Nev and his somewhat self-centered mannerisms on a "Saturday Night Light" skit. According to the website that offers the shirts, Looksy, “a portion of proceeds will go to LOVE (Leave Out Violence), an award-winning youth violence prevention organization."
The shirts are $20 and are available for men and women. No word on whether they are offered to fake folks.
Michael Moore rescues Burnat
Emad Burnat, the Palestinian director of the Oscar-nominated film “5 Broken Cameras,” was detained at the Los Angeles airport last week because airport officials did not believe he was actually in town for the Academy Awards, TMZ reports.
Filmmaker Michael Moore live-tweeted the incident, claiming Burnat was held for nearly two hours while airport security grilled him about his purpose of his U.S. visit.
“Emad, his wife & 8-yr old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn’t have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars,” Moore tweeted. “Although he produced the Oscar invite nominees receive, that wasn’t good enough & he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine.”
Even with the Academy Awards over — Burnat’s film fell short for best documentary — Moore continued to discuss the topic. He aimed his fire at the popular website BuzzFeed, which claimed that Moore overhyped the story. BuzzFeed’s Tessa Stuart cited LAX sources that called Moore’s allegation "baloney" and a "publicity stunt," while a Homeland Security source said that "Burnat was merely asked to produce his ticket for the Oscars — and that when he found it, he was let in immediately" — a process that took no longer than 25 minutes.
Moore responded by saying that Stuart lied, since the tickets to the show weren’t released until two days after the incident. BuzzFeed said it was trying to get clarification from the TSA agent. No such thing as bad publicity.
Andy Samberg is engaged
Many Jewish and non-Jewish women dreaded the moment — the official engagement of former SNL cast member Andy Samberg and musician Joana Newsom.
“I can confirm that Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsom are engaged,” Samberg’s publicist Carrie Byalick told Reuters. The two have been dating for five years.
Newsom was spotted with a diamond ring at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday. The two have yet to announce a wedding date, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it were on a boat?
Samberg was a fan of Newsom’s work even before they were introduced, according to Us magazine, and would see her perform. Newsom, who is known for her baroque folk music style, plays the harp and piano, and also sings.
Fran Drescher’s sexting habits
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Fran Drescher revealed that she often sexts (as in, to send dirty text messages), but makes sure she never sends photos.
“I like to sext,” said the 55-year-old star of “Happily Divorced.” “Absolutely, [but] no pictures.”
Drescher, who is best known for her work on "The Nanny," revealed that she got flirty with a hotel staff member while on a recent vacation.
“The chef at the hotel that I was staying at I thought was so sexy and he started sexting me, but also he sent a picture and said, ‘And now your turn.’ And I said, ‘Uh, no! I’m a celebrity, I don’t even know you!’ ” she said.
“I’m popular and the guys like me,” Drescher added. “They think I’m adorable and sexy. I get sexy a lot.”
When Dov Hikind painted his face
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a massive party at his house for the Jewish holiday of Purim with 14 hours of food, booze and, of course, costumes.
Hikind, getting into the holiday spirit, dressed up as a basketball player — ALL BASKETBALL PLAYERS, you see, not just a specific one — complete with afro, sunglasses and jersey. He told Politicker he hired a professional makeup artist to paint his face, er, darker.
“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players," explained Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat, in defending his choice of costume. "Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.”
Asked by a reporter if he was worried that some might find his costume racist, Hikind responded, “I can’t imagine anyone getting offended. Purim, you know, everything goes, and it’s all done with respect. No one is laughing, no one is mocking. No one walked in today and said, ‘Oh, my God.”
Hikind later reiterated to WCBS TV that it ”never crossed my mind for a second” that having a blackfaced costume isn’t OK.
”If I was black,” Hikind added, “on Purim I would have made my face white.”
Later he apologized, saying at a news conference Monday, according to the New York Daily News, "I’m sorry people were offended. In hindsight, I should have picked something else. It never crossed my mind for a split second that I was doing something wrong."
Daniel Blumen’s ultimate bar mitzvah video
This Save the Date was especially memorable. Daniel Blumen of Atlanta made a music video to remind guests of his upcoming bar mitzvah, and the video has gone viral, surfacing on CNN, ABC, NBC, Yahoo! and the Daily Mail in England, to name a few.
Adam Chandler, Tablet’s resident blogger, saw the video on his Facebook feed posted by a friend and wrote a quick blog post. Now Daniel and his bar mitzvah rhymes are everywhere, including the "Today" show, where his dad said the video took nine weeks to make.
Take a look at the video below, which features appearances by Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ne-Yo and Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed. If this video doesn’t get you some good presents, Daniel, nothing will.
Louis-Dreyfus’ Israeli commercial pulled
A commercial for Israel’s YES satellite television company featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been pulled from the air, Contact Music reports.
The ad showed Louis-Dreyfus rubbing an overweight woman’s stomach in an elevator and wishing her a congratulations only to find out she wasn’t pregnant. The comic actress spent the rest of the commercial trying to fix her mistake.
Israeli women complained that the commercial was offensive to overweight women. Na’mat, an Israeli women’s organization, had its chairwoman, Galit Wolloch, complain to Israel’s Channel 2, and wrote on Facebook that the ad’s message was insulting and condescending.
The bit was finally axed after officials from Israel’s Yedid Association for Community Empowerment issued a formal complaint letter, calling the commercial an “evident and unjustified insult to a substantial majority of the people. There are a lot of weight-challenged individuals in Israel who are treated in an irreverent and hurtful manner.
"There is no justification to illustrate a stigma which suggests a larger woman is either pregnant or simply too fat for anyone to consider going out with,” the letter read.
YES removed the promo and said in a statement that the commercial "has been hurtful to a portion of the public, despite the inherent freedom of speech in advertising media. Should there be a new request to air the spot, the authority will need to re-examine the material and deliberate then.”
LaBeouf leaves ‘Orphans’
Shia LaBeouf and Alec Baldwin are in some sort of fight, and the two couldn’t resolve the issue to the point that LaBeouf has dropped out of their upcoming Broadway show, "Orphans," according to The Associated Press. LaBeouf pulled out of the production “due to creative difference,” according to the show’s producers, but LaBeouf tweeted an email last night revealing he had conflicts with Baldwin.
In an email titled “Creative Differences,” LaBeouf wrote to director Dan Sullivan, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. You’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it. This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn’t get it.”
LaBeouf also tweeted an e-mail to Baldwin, saying something about acting like “a real man.”
“A man can tell you he was wrong … He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering. Alec, I’m sorry for my part of a disagreeable situation,” LaBeouf wrote.
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