Anticipating that backlash shouldn't ideally, simply lead someone to make jokes about that backlash -- it should make you want to present your best work. Your best jokes. Your best singing, the best dancing. Your very best quips about tanning or toupees, if that's what you're bringing to the table.
But MacFarlane didn't do that. He coasted by on the easy joke, the lazy joke, and he did it by resorting to the same stereotypes about, say, Latinos that we've already heard joked about (and, indeed, joked about better) many, many times before.
And there's also the reality that, while the Oscars are meant to celebrate and entertain, they don't necessarily have to make us laugh. They don't have to shock us. But they should lend us a sense of awe, a wonder, and a thrill at all the artistry and technical expertise at work in making films.
I hope that whoever is tapped to guide us through these 147 hours of award-giving next year -- MacFarlane or otherwise -- keeps that in mind.