Seth MacFarlane has a bone to pick with the Academy Awards. The “Family Guy” creator took to social media following this year’s ceremony to slam the Academy for failing to recognize comedy films in its major categories.
“Here’s another big problem with the Oscars no one talks about: It’s 99% drama,” MacFarlane said. “Until a movie like ‘Bridesmaids’ or ‘Airplane!’ gets a Best Picture win or even a nomination, it’s all conspicuously incomplete. ‘Get Out’ is a breath of fresh air to be sure, but it’s the exception.”
MacFarlane is hardly the first one to voice his opinion on the matter. Judd Apatow made headlines several years ago for suggesting the Oscars should have a separate comedy film category so that films in the genre can be properly recognized. While films like “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “The Big Short,” “Nebraska,” and “Silver Linings Playbook” have received Best Picture nominations this decade, they’re more dramatic stories with comedic elements when compared to more traditional comedies like “Bridesmaids,” which failed to be nominated for Best Picture in 2012 despite critical acclaim and nominations for supporting actress and screenwriting.
The last pure comedy to be nominated for Best Picture was “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2014, but that film certainly benefited from Wes Anderson’s distinct style. Notice how “Girls Trip,” despite earning rave reviews and over $100 million at the box office, was not even in the Best Picture conversation this year.
While Seth MacFarlane is absolutely right about comedies, it should be noted that the Academy has been slowly diversifying its tastes. “The Shape of Water” is a rather unconventional Best Picture winner thanks to both its fantasy and science-fiction elements (“The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” is the only other fantasy winner), and “Get Out’s” strong showing was proof Oscar voters aren’t totally anti-horror. Peele’s Best Original Screenplay win is the first time a horror script has ever won that prize.