'No big red button' for Oscars host MacFarlane

The producers of this year's Oscars show said they have no "big red button" to press in case boundary-pushing host Seth MacFarlane oversteps the mark.

They voiced confidence in the "Family Guy" creator as more than 160 nominees attended a traditional Oscar luncheon in Beverly Hills, three weeks before the February 24 show, the climax of Tinseltown's annual awards season.

MacFarlane, also creator of foul-mouthed big-screen teddy bear Ted, is seen as an edgier choice of host for the Academy Awards than previous years, in what could be an attempt to target a younger demographic.

But Neil Meron, co-producing the show with Craig Zadan, said the pair of them were working closely with MacFarlane and were confident they won't have any surprises.

"There's no oversized red button," he said. "I mean, Seth is Seth, and we love him." The Oscars show, watched on TV around the world, usually airs with a few seconds' delay, in case of expletives or other inappropriate surprises.

Zadan added: "Also, we're working together on the show, so he's one of the few hosts who has been in every production meeting. He's been there every day, and we're working on the show together.

"So as he's writing it, we're part of the process of him saying, 'Is this good? Is this funny? Is this not funny?' So we have been collaborating with him on that, so we're not going to be surprised by anything.

"We're working as a team. We're totally cool about it."

They were speaking as nominees attended a luncheon in their honor at the Beverly Hilton hotel, put on every year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Daniel Day-Lewis, tipped for best actor Oscar for his presidential "Lincoln" performance, and Jessica Chastain, best actress frontrunner for Osama bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty," were among the 17 of the 20 acting nominees present.

Ben Affleck, whose Iran hostage drama movie "Argo" has picked up the top prize in a series of awards shows so far, turned up despite the perceived Oscars snub, which saw him missing from the best director nominees.

Other filmmakers there included Kathryn Bigelow, who was also left off the Academy's directors shortlist for "Zero Dark Thirty," and Steven Spielberg, whose "Lincoln," won the most Oscar nominations, with 12 nods.

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