The Onion apologizes for awful Quvenzhané Wallis tweet during the Oscars
Forget for a moment how half the Oscars audience seemed to hate Seth MacFarlane for some reason, because the really reviled performance came from The Onion, who called 9-year-old best actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis the dreaded C-word. They apologized on Monday, but it’s been a wonderful lesson in how some things will simply never be satirical enough. You know, like attacking 9-year-olds.
As we mentioned yesterday, the site posted a rather nasty tweet that read, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c---, right?” A firestorm ignited on Twitter almost immediately, meaning that people on Twitter exploded in a flurry of self-righteous damnation of The Onion, moments after ripping on every actor in Hollywood themselves.
Making matters worse, The Onion deleted the tweet, only angering the Interverse even more. People were posting the outlet’s street address, urging others to email and (gasp!) write physical letters to complain. The Onion CEO Steve Hannah posted on the site and on Facebook that yeah, they probably went a little too far there.
“On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting,” Hannah wrote. “No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.” Well, except every other famous person they write about, ever.
“The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again,” he continued. “In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible. Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.”
Somewhere, an intern is being blamed in a writer’s room for something a roomful of people likely saw and didn’t disagree with. It’s best the person remain anonymous, because there are plenty of folks who think making a very distasteful joke is worth physically hurting someone. You should hear the phone calls The Juice* gets for making fun of Chris Brown — and he put his girlfriend in the hospital the day before the Grammys!