LOS ANGELES – It looks like Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar honeymoon may be over.
Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected the creator of the “Family Guy” and “American Dad” animated series to follow in the footsteps of legends like Johnny Carson, Bob Hope and Billy Crystal to host next year’s Oscars ceremony. But this week, MacFarlane is being criticized following a recent episode of one of his FOX cartoons.
On Thursday, the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued an alert to its members, requesting that they file a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the use of graphic verbal and visual reference to oral sex on “American Dad,” airing at 9.30pm Eastern/Pacific Times and 8.30 Central, a time slot common for young viewers.
“This past summer the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld the congressionally mandated authority of the Federal Communications Commission to enforce the broadcast decency law, which prohibits the airing of indecent material on the publicly-owned airwaves during times when children are likely to be in the audience. We believe this broadcast has broken the law,” PTC president Tim Winter declared in a statement. “In the past, ‘American Dad’ and MacFarlane’s other programs have included scenes mocking people with Down syndrome, implying father-daughter incest, a man masturbating a horse, a baby eating horse sperm, and a character eating vomit and excrement out of a baby’s diaper. Some of those broadcasts are under review at the FCC for violating the broadcast decency law.”
The Academy, FCC, FOX and a rep for McFarlane did not respond to requests for comment.
This week’s charge, in addition to McFarlane’s reputation for jaw-dropping, explicit content has some wondering what moves he may pull during next year’s typically classy and refined Hollywood night of nights.
“With his track record for extremely edgy and risqué humor on ‘Family Guy’ and his film ‘Ted,’ MacFarlane is an intriguing choice to host the film community’s most prestigious awards ceremony. I think the Academy is hoping that MacFarlane will walk a fine line between funny and dangerous, tapping a similar vein that Ricky Gervais perfected in his sometimes controversial but always entertaining hosting stints at the Golden Globe Awards,”entertainment expert Scott Huver told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “The Academy itself may be taking the biggest risk: MacFarlane may have just the right ‘naughty’ sensibility to be able to take some really daring swipes at the assembled showbiz crowd, but there’s the chance that he may also offend both viewers and his high-powered targets.”
The last time the Oscar telecast attempted to step out of the box and appeal to younger, hipper audiences was in 2011 with co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Their performance was called one of the worst ever, and ratings were significantly down from the previous year, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Tried and true veteran host Billy Crystal’s stint the following year saw a slight ratings boost.
But MacFarlane is attracting plenty of celeb support, including a vote of confidence from Donald Trump.
“Glad to hear @SethMacFarlane will be hosting this year’s Oscars,” the mogul and media personality tweeted. “Something new that should be fun.”