By now, you’ve all heard the horrible details. The satirical and “false-headline news” making site The Onion shared a tweet last night during the Oscars that called nine year old Academy Award nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis a c*%t. I won’t repeat the word here because it’s not a word that even comes out of my mouth, but I’m sure you know what I’m referring to. What happened next was major social media outcry as celebrities, pundits, and regular ole folk like myself expressed outrage regarding The Onion’s blatant disrespectful and horrendous tweet aimed at a nine year old 3rd grader. We were not having it.
The Onion deleted said tweet over an hour after it was shared (and not within an hour as they are reporting), and took ten plus hours to release apology to Quvenzhané via their Facebook page.
Do I think the apology was sincere? Perhaps. But it took 10 hours for The Onion to even speak on the topic, which is horrendous. They certainly have someone tweeting in the evenings during the Oscars, so it’s not like they didn’t see the social media firestorm they created. Why did it take that long for them to address their “mistake”? I, for one, think it was totally irresponsible for them to even a send a tweet of that nature out, no matter if it is a satirical site or not. Children should be off-limits, period.
But the bigger story here is not about The Onion; screw them, they don’t matter to me. I don’t follow them on Twitter or Facebook, nor do I subscribe to their site. The bigger story is Quvenzhané Wallis and how she is the youngest Oscar nominee ever in the history of life, which is an extraordinary accomplishment in itself. This young lady is surely a talent, no matter her color or unique name, yet she is going to remember her first Oscar experience as one that was hurtful and demeaning.
As a mom of a nine year old lass, I know that no matter how much girl power I instill in her, derogatory names can hurt her self esteem. It’s bad enough growing up in a world that can be hateful and cruel—but being targeted while the whole world watches, that must hurt.
Since when was it cool to call children horrific names that aren’t even suitable for utterance? Since when was that funny? Never.
Quvenzhané Wallis should be basking in the wonderfulness that is her acting career, which is now on the upswing with an Oscar nom and now a starring role in the remake of Annie. Too bad she can’t enjoy it without The Onion stinking up the joint. I hope that despite this unfortunate event, Quvenzhané will continue to hold her head up high. We see she’s got sass and spunk, so dusting her shoulders off to her haters may not be so far off the mark.
If you really want to stick it to The Onion, don’t visit their site. Don’t share their material. Don’t give them any page views. Act as if they cease to exist. They are a website that depends on ads and page views to increase their revenue, so don’t contribute to them making another dime.
Boom, there it is.