Well, this ought to harsh your Oscar buzz.
Shortly after last night’s Academy Awards ceremony ended, America’s finest satirical newspaper crossed the line on its Twitter page, as is its wont — but this time, there weren’t many people laughing. The Onion targeted 9-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis, joking that the diminutive star (and future Little Orphan Annie) isn’t quite as sweet as she seems. [UPDATE: The Onion has apologized for the joke. See their mea culpa below.]
Here’s the tweet; beware of crude and offensive language.
Yikes. Though hundreds of people apparently Favorited the message, just as many Twitter users took the paper to task for using such a loaded term to refer to child, even in jest.
Wow, The Onion has finally gone too far.—
damianholbrook (@TVGMDamian) February 25, 2013
I have no idea what The Onion thought was going to happen when they dropped the c-bomb on a 9 year old girl. What a bunch of idiots.—
Calvin (@aurosan) February 25, 2013
Among the most vocal critics of the tweet was Wendell Pierce, star of HBO’s The Wire and Treme (and a native Louisianan, just like Wallis).
The satirical site deleted the tweet about an hour after it was posted — and late this morning, Onion CEO Steve Hannah released a statement apologizing for the joke.
“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,” he wrote. “It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting. No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire. 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. 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.”