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'The Onion' Called Quvenzhané Wallis the 'C' Word


The Onion pushes the envelope, but did it go too far this time?

Buzzfeed writes: Wallis

After being up for an hour, the backlash gathered, and the tweet was deleted. Was it meant to be some sort of joke reflecting on how people talk about someone like Anne Hathaway? I tweeted at The Onion for comment, and emailed its editor, but have not gotten a response.

During the show, MacFarlane sexualized her as well: "To give you an idea of just how young she is, it will be 16 years until she's too old for Clooney."

In other, more upbeat news, she's going to take over for Willow Smith in the Annie remake:

"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," said Hannah Minghella of Columbia Pictures. "She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can't wait for audiences to further discover her."

UPDATE: The Onion apologizes.

Feb. 25, 2013

Dear Readers,

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.

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.


Steve Hannah
The Onion

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  1. This is The Onion for Pete's sake, nothing is sacred to them. I actually thought it was hilarious.

    But humor is subjective... whatever. No matter what the joke, there's always someone out there who will get offended.

    Posted by: BEAHBEAH | Feb 25, 2013 9:40:21 AM

  2. By far my favorite swear - mainly cause it has more feather-ruffling power than the others. Especially with the people who deserve the word :)

    Posted by: Secrets81 | Feb 25, 2013 9:41:47 AM

  3. I know it is all subjective, but "Annie" which is based on the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" as black. Don't see the relevance. It would be like making "Fat Albert" and his cronies white. As for "The Onion" they are hit or miss...this one missed.

    Posted by: CB | Feb 25, 2013 9:51:49 AM

  4. No, it's like doing a remake of Showboat and having Justin Beiber sing "Old Man River".

    Posted by: Seymore | Feb 25, 2013 9:56:37 AM

  5. Should be interesting to see how she does in Annie. This little girl has, as I understand it, had one breakout role, and she was spectacularly good in that. But, I imagine a great, young director may have had a lot to do with shaping that performance as well. Let's hope she can sustain the quality of her acting as she takes on other roles with other directors.

    Posted by: Keppler | Feb 25, 2013 9:57:01 AM

  6. Who cares? It's the Onion.

    Posted by: jawole | Feb 25, 2013 10:12:29 AM

  7. Who cares? It's the Onion.

    Posted by: jawole | Feb 25, 2013 10:12:31 AM

  8. These two things sexualized her? Seriously?

    Once again, how is this gay news?

    Posted by: me | Feb 25, 2013 10:14:54 AM

  9. Wasn't this tweet in response to Seth's rhyming joke during the show? He mentioned Helen HUNT and then he said Q was....a DORABLE. (Insert C word for the joke)??

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 25, 2013 10:23:10 AM

  10. Calling a nine-year old a word like this is reprehensible. There's no excuse for it, not even if it's for a laugh.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 25, 2013 10:28:33 AM

  11. I don't know. After being subjected to that agonizing movie of hers, I'm with the Onion here.

    Posted by: Bollux | Feb 25, 2013 10:35:59 AM

  12. She was so amazing in Beasts and she looks just like my favorite niece. I feel a little protective of her. Are they saying she's going to be in the Broadway production of Annie with Jane Lynch?

    Posted by: Jersey | Feb 25, 2013 10:40:06 AM

  13. Thank you, JACK M. Thank you for not going along with the ugliest stereotype of b.tchy homosexuals--that's what we're reading this morning on Towleroad.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 25, 2013 10:41:42 AM

  14. It is shocking that anyone would defend this as a joke. First, the word is derogatory and demeaning. Second, we are talking about a child which as Jack stated is reprehensible on its face. Finally, if they would have said, "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Frank Ocean is kind of a self-righteous FAGGOT, right?"

    I'm sure the responses would have been, "It's the Onion for Pete's sake" and "By far my favorite swear - mainly cause [sic] it has more feather-ruffling power than the others; especially with the people who deserve the word :)."

    Posted by: Belthazar | Feb 25, 2013 10:45:59 AM

  15. Oh please.

    Hollywood puts a child on a pedestal, including sexualizing her, and you're supposed to cheer.

    The Onion mocks Hollywood's hypocrisy, and the pearl-clutching brigade rush out to scream about how offensive it is and how she's "just a little girl!"

    That's the whole point, you sorry numbnuts. You're putting a little girl in the bright lights and making her play "adult" for your own gratification. You sick, sick freaks!

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 25, 2013 11:00:09 AM

  16. She's nine years old... I know most of you will never have children of your own to raise and protect... but for God's sake she's nine years old, that's all you need to know.

    Posted by: Hugh | Feb 25, 2013 11:00:20 AM

  17. They totally missed on this one... if there was a joke in there, they could have done the same w/o using the word c#%$.

    I like The Onion a lot, but you don't get to put an innocent, accomplished kid, next to that word. Nope.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Feb 25, 2013 11:11:15 AM

  18. I think it's a funny joke because it's clearly making fun of us and the media for how we judge stars; it's sending that up. However, it's not a good idea because she's 9 and could see that and, well, satire and "9" does not mix.

    As for the comments about Little Orphan Annie and race, you guys are way off. It's NOTHING like changing the races in SHOWBOAT or any other very race-specific work. Why can't an orphanage be filled with little black kids, in the Depression or now? I'm not a fan of color-blind casting when it is historically unbelievable, but that's not the case here at all.

    Loved BEASTS...beautiful movie.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Feb 25, 2013 11:15:31 AM

  19. Oh for f*cks sake. It's a JOKE. This is very similar to the "scandal" when Kathy Griffin asked (very young at the time) Dakota Fanning if she'd just gotten out of rehab.

    Did she really think that Dakota had just gotten out of rehab? No. Is Q Wallis really a "c*nt"? No. It's just a a joke about their age and (presumed) innocence, clearly not meant to be taken seriously.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 25, 2013 11:30:20 AM

  20. @Belthazar's comment is well taken. An even better example would be if in 2000, when "the Sixth Sense" was up for 6 Oscars, the Onion had remarked: "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Haley Joel Osment [then 11-years old] sure is a prissy little faggot, right?"

    PS Ditto what Matthew Retenmund said about why having a black Little Orphan Annie is not inappropriate or contrary to original material.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Feb 25, 2013 11:44:50 AM

  21. Who wrote that?

    Posted by: Andy | Feb 25, 2013 11:47:08 AM

  22. For a minute there I thought I wandered into the YouTube Comments section.

    Once again, the hypocrisy and not-very-subtle racism of the gay community shows itself to be the disgusting artifact for which it is. No empathy, no understanding, just cheap shots and internalized hate. There are a few excellent points being raised and instead of trying to understand, or at the very least respond to a thoughtful insight, it gets ignored. Shame on you.

    Posted by: Randall S. Murphy | Feb 25, 2013 11:49:35 AM

  23. The real crime is the Academy exploiting a nine year old girl by nominating her for an award she had no business being considered for.

    Posted by: niles | Feb 25, 2013 11:50:28 AM

  24. The onion was finishing Seth's joke from the broadcast. It just didn't make sense to anyone without context.

    Posted by: N | Feb 25, 2013 11:59:35 AM

  25. Wait. When did we forget what the concept of satire is?

    Posted by: jawole | Feb 25, 2013 12:05:11 PM

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