Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Geena Davis wades into Oscars row

Geena Davis said Oscar host Seth MacFarlane's routine was disrespectful to women (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Geena Davis has waded into the 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.

The Oscar-winning Thelma And Louise star said 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," Geena 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 praised Brave, which won best animated picture, as setting a positive example for girls.

Geena, 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 toward women.

The academy issued a general statement defending MacFarlane and saying the award show is about "creative freedom".

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Santa Barbara Democrat who co-authored the letter, said that she was disappointed the academy did not address her concerns.

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