The Onion, the satirical paper known for tweeting comical headlines, apologized Monday after calling the child star of indie film “Beasts of the Southern Wild Star,” a derogatory term for the female genitalia.
The gag publication published the apology on Facebook.
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.
The offending tweet stated "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013"
Wallis, 9, won the Critics' Choice Award for best young actor/actress at the Critics' Choice Awards. She thanked God for all his blessings in her acceptance speech. Wallis was also nominated for the Oscars' best actress award and walked the red carpet Sunday wearing a blue Armani Junior dress and shawl with a puppy dog purse. Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress catagory.
The tweet, which no longer appears on the Onion's twitter page, prompted at least one black actor to fire back on Twitter.
Treme and The Wire actor Wendell Pierce tweeted "Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous."
Others tweeted, "Quvenzhane Wallis is a nine year old woman of colour. Let's let what @TheOnion did sink in and remember that Dakota Fanning never had this" and "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?”