March 4, 2010

Did they really pull Sacha Baron Cohen skit from the Oscars just because it might irk James Cameron?

"... Baron Cohen planned to appear onstage as a blue-skinned, female Na’vi, with [Ben] Stiller translating 'her' interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn’t translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open 'her' evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron’s love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer."

Maybe the problem was just that it's bad — or not good enough to justify lowering the taste level. We (might) laugh at the Jerry Springer show, but the Oscars are immensely glamorous, and crudeness is out of place. Out of place can generate humor, but who should be permitted to appropriate the glamour for comic effect and what are the costs? Isn't it mostly women who enjoy the Oscars? Quite aside from how James Cameron will feel, how will the show's natural audience feel?

But let me go one step further. Here's my theory: The Hollywood elite want the Democrats health care bill to make it through, and one stumbling block is abortion. The producers have therefore deemed this not to be a good time to highlight and laugh about undesired pregnancy. The unwanted unborn child is an overwhelmingly serious matter for people who care about the right to life. Don't antagonize them with edgy, blatant material. Not now.

32 comments:

Joseph said...

The Hollywood elite want the Democrats health care bill to make it through, and one stumbling block is abortion.

LOL. Most people think about and are motivated by politics way less than you and your commenters. I think this is highly unlikely. I'd stick with your "its just not that funny" theory.

Leland said...

I was with you before the abortion angle.

master cylinder said...

Ann, are you in favor of female reproductive rights?
I really hope so. This seems like a way to push a hot button topic with your commenters, and I would be really surprised if you are anti-choice. Talk about government interference!

PatHMV said...

I'm just glad they pulled it. Cohen is simply an asshole and a bully. Bullies have had the ability to make people laugh at the targets of their aggression since the school yard. That doesn't make him a great artist or terribly funny.

One of the staples of teen mythology is the story of the awkward guy or girl who is fooled by the cool kids into thinking that the head cheerleader/quarterback wants to go out with them. They trick the dupe into a rendezvous in some public place, and when the dupe arrives, half the school is there to laugh at him. The people who think Cohen is funny are the same kids who would laugh at the dupe for daring to believe that one of the in-crowd would want to date him or her.

Big Mike said...

@Professor, Joseph's right, if only because the Hollywood elite aren't bright enough to make a connection between Sacha Baron Cohen-type tasteless humor about inter-species mating and healthcare.

Er, I haven't actually seen Avatar so could someone enlighten me. Are the Na'vi placental? Are we certain they don't lay eggs? Now Sacha Baron Cohen, he lays eggs -- figuratively speaking -- with great regularity.

Larry J said...

Seriously, who watches the Oscars? It's one more in a long list of "Aren't we wonderful?!!!" celebrity awards shows. I wouldn't watch it if they paid me nor will I make any effort to find out who won the nearly endless list of awards. Frankly, this shit bores me.

MadisonMan said...

I vote for the Pulled because it's bad option.

MadisonMan said...

Or should I say...

...and the Oscar goes to....Pulled Because it was BAD!

froggyprager said...

I don't think this has anything to do with abortion. I think the skit would have been funny but I think that Cohen is too dumb for the Oscars and they probably did not want to irk Cameron. If I saw this skit, I don't think I would have even thought about abortion.

Fen said...

Ann, are you in favor of female reproductive rights.. would be really surprised if you are anti-choice.?

What does that mean anyway?

1) Do you CHOOSE to engage in sex?

2) Do you CHOOSE to use birth control to avoid pregnancy?

3) Do you know that birth control is not 100% effective, yet CHOOSE to take that risk anyway?

With exceptions re rape and incest, an unwanted pregancy occurs after at least 3 choices.

What you want is a 4th choice in case your first 3 choices were bad ones. And you whine about pro-lifers being "anti" choice.

Pro-Choice: I need sex so bad I'm willing to kill for it.

MadisonMan said...

And yet, there are some that against abortions even when it saves the life of the mother!

Link.

Fred4Pres said...

An inconvienent truth.

al said...

Maybe they realized that Sacha Baron Cohen just isn't funny.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Fen /applause

Oh..... and Cohen just isn't funny. Ever.

Joe said...

Most the stupid skits on the Oscars aren't remotely funny. The entire Oscars are a bore. They need to drop have the awards from the show and just present the damn things. Get rid of the stupid hosts idea and have Peter Coyote just narrate backstage.

I'd also install a trap door to get rid of annoying presenters and long-winded recipients.

virgil xenophon said...

For those of you who don't think the Hollywood left are "subtle" enough to calculate such things, just remember the "Hollywood! 10" some of whom years later admitted they slipped things into scripts wherever/whenever they could--like having the muzak in elevator scenes playing the Communist "Internationale" in the background.

John Lynch said...

Wouldn't that be disparaging Avatar?

Trooper York said...

You have to spice up that skit.

Why not have Andrew Sullivan there to claim that it really is Sarah Palin's baby!

The Hollywood douchebags would eat that up.

Fred4Pres said...

Are they trying to soften the blow for Cameron when the Hurt Locker wins...or do they know the Avatar fix is in and they dare not mock the new emperor (former king of the world).

edutcher said...

Not offending Cameron may be more of a factor than most believe. Anyone familiar with the story of Cliff Robertson running afoul of the studios because he went public with some financial hanky panky by the head of Columbia knows that the caste system there is pretty absolute. Remember the book "You'll never Eat Lunch in this town Again"?

The idea that Cohen's skit wasn't funny also holds a lot of water. As for plotting this out because of the health care vote, the Academy members don't strike me as that bright. A lot of HS and college dropouts in the ranks.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think a person should be able to go to his industry's award show without being forced to participate in a skit.

It's fine and good fun for hosts to poke fun at the attendees, but they shouldn't have to participate in their own humiliation.

In other words, I think that irking Cameron is a good enough reason to pull the skit.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would be really surprised if you are anti-choice.

"Anti-choice" = comically misleading label for the anti abortion rights position.

Trooper York said...

Some banks are "too big to fail."

Some people are "too self-important to take a joke."

Trooper York said...

Why don't they just have Tina Fey mock Sarah Palin.

Everybody knows that is way funny!

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Hey Sean Penn could even play Trig in a flash forward.

He could even win the Academy Award by going "full-retard."

Just sayn'

Salamandyr said...

And yet, there are some that against abortions even when it saves the life of the mother!

And there are some that believe mothers should be able to kill their children after they're born!

In what way does what somebody else believe have any affect on the rightness or wrongness of what I believe?

It's really a bad argument. And beneath you..."You're wrong because this other guy over here in another country is stupid."

MadisonMan said...

Salamandyr, I'm just saying that black/white views with respect to abortion lead to indefensible stances. A 9-yo impregnated (with twins!) by her step-dad -- sentenced to death, essentially -- should be able to get an abortion without non-family members protesting.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would point out that "everything's gray" arguments are just as prone to leading to ridiculous conclusions such as, "I wouldn't do it, but if that other woman wants to kill a baby just because she thinks it's inconvenient right now, that's her choice."

And since the gray argument has led to the deaths of literal millions, I think the scale of which one will lead you into greater evil is pretty heavily weighted to one side.

Revenant said...

This really makes me glad I don't watch the Oscars.

Revenant said...

A 9-yo impregnated (with twins!) by her step-dad -- sentenced to death, essentially

I don't agree with that position, but I don't see how it is indefensible. If you believe that unborn children have the same rights as nine-year-old children do, then we're talking about killing two children to (probably) save the life of a third. It is easy to defend saying "no" to that suggestion.

Also, I don't see how it matters if the pregnancy is the result of incest. We don't consider children of incest to have fewer rights than other children, do we?

kentuckyliz said...

WTF? Visibly pregnant women on Jerry Springer aren't thinking about abortion and the child isn't unwanted.

That's rich people thinking--that you need to abort a baby because it interferes with your plans and your perfect life script and your happiness.

In poor people thinking, a baby is your plan: the way to the welfare gravy train.

It takes a really big salary to out-earn welfare, and if you're poor and don't have resources and you're not that bright, well, that big salary is like wishing for a pony for Christmas. Ain't happening.

Annie, gotta call you out--you're superimposing your upper middle class values on the not-upper-middle class guests of the Jerry Springer Show.

As for Cohen: he gave up his eligibility to appear on award shows when he flew himself out into the audience and landed his nekkid buttcheeks into some celeb guy's face.