Known for being satirical, internet newspaper The Onion, crossed the line during the Oscar telecast with a horrific tweet aimed at nine year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis. The Onion tweeted, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?” I’m aware that The Onion is a site full of edgy humor which more often than not offends readers, however, you don’t aim crippling insults like that towards a nine year-old girl! Let alone a black nine year-old girl who is making history!
It didn’t take long for The Onion to feel the backlash. Plenty of their followers demanded they delete the degrading tweet and slammed the site for the their poor judgement when it comes to the “jokes” they share on social media. Actor Wendell Pierce, who is a resident of New Orleans and a neighbor to Wallis, was the most irate. Pierce accosted The Onion on Twitter for verbally abusing young Quvenzhane when it was one of the most exciting nights of her short life. Pierce also defended his position against supporters of The Onion who said he was being too sensitive. He and I both question whether or not these people have children and how they would feel if their fourth grader was attacked with such a strong, hateful word.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for free speech and all of the trappings that come along with that. After all, I’m a writer with a penchant for snarky musings. yet I’ve never hurled an insult as damaging as the c-word at anybody. There has to be a line drawn in the sand about how far one is willing to push the envelope. While I’m one to quickly point out a celebrity’s flaw for a laugh on social media, I’m not one for hitting below the belt. What The Onion did was tasteless, classless, and void of any decency one should have when dealing with children. Because while The Onion was busy hurting themselves thinking up this terrible joke, Quvenzhane Wallis was busy making history! So you tell me who’s winning!
UPDATE: The CEO of The Onion Steve Hannah has issued an apology on Facebook. Check the apology below.
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