Published February 25, 2013
Satirical website The Onion has apologized following a tweet it sent out about 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis.
During Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast, the official Onion Twitter account posted a harsh message about the “Beasts of the Southern Wild Star” that has the Twitterverse up in arms.
“Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*nt, right? #Oscars2013,” the tweet read.
But users immediately came to Wallis’ defense, slamming the satirical site for the “joke.”
And though The Onion deleted the tweet shortly after posting it, plenty of users managed to get screen shots of the offending message.
“The Onion was tasteless for that tweet. It’s never okay to use that word towards anyone, especially someone's child,” one user wrote.
“Calling a 9 year old child a c-word in one of the biggest nights of her life was going too far even for the onion. Classless,” another echoed.
Some users even pledged to stop subscribing to The Onion’s Twitter feed.
“@TheOnion Unfollowing you. Your tweet about a 9-yr-old child was stunningly inappropriate. That's not satire or a joke. That's sick.”
Others called for the site to apologize.
“An apology is due to Miss Wallis. Deleting the tweet does not make it go away. Would The Onion let this die if a celeb had said it?”
And it seems The Onion heard that message loud and clear. At about 11:30 a.m. on Monday the site posted an apology on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
In a rare moment of seriousness for the publication, Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, called the tweet a mistake and said the site had already "instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures."
He acknowledged that the comment was "crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting."
"In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible," Hannah wrote. "Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."