I don't watch the Oscars and I don't follow The Onion so it wasn't until this morning when I saw what they had tweeted last night, when someone shared an article about it.
Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013An hour later, they deleted it, but it had already been seen by a lot of people.
Miss Wallis was the nine year old nominee for Best Actress. NINE! Some wretched ass at The Onion called a nine year old girl a cunt. It's not funny, it's not satire, it's not appropriate. When is it OK to call a child a name like that?! (Here's a hint: NEVER!)
I can relate, on a much smaller scale. When I was a couple years older than Miss Wallis, I had a huge crush on a boy who was a few years older than I. One summer day, he was playing basketball with friends when I walked by. Everyone knew I liked him, and he got razzed about it, though probably not to the extent I was (he was popular, you see). I may have pestered him that day, I don't remember, but I do remember the name he called me: twat. I didn't even know what that word meant, but suddenly everyone was laughing at me harder than ever. It was humiliating and hurtful. I knew it wasn't nice, what he'd called me, but I had no idea just how bad it was. I still cringe at the memory, and that was more than 30 years ago.
While that was awful and mean, at least it was only said in front of a couple dozen people. More than four million people follow The Onion on Twitter (not sure if people stopped following them after they posted that, but as of this morning, 4,668,043). Plus it got retweeted and mentioned in articles online, shared and passed around in outrage and probably support (freedom of speech, yada yada, can't take a joke, blah blah), so the vile name that they called Miss Wallis was seen by millions of people. If she didn't know what that word meant before last night, she almost certainly will today.
A young girl, the youngest actress ever nominated for Best Actress, was called a name that would be hateful and nasty if she were an adult, but it's inexcusable to call a child that. A few people have called on The Onion to reveal who was responsible for sending that tweet, throw them under the bus as it were. I think he needs to be fired, after he makes a public apology to that girl. (Yes, I am assuming that the person who said that was male.) If you'd like to contact The Onion and let them know what you think about that offensive tweet, email them here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Hannah, the CEO of The Onion, has issued an apology for the offensive tweet. And that's great! Miss Wallis was owed an apology, without a doubt. The person(s) responsible should still be fired, in my opinion, but at least she got an apology.
The young man who called me a twat 30 years ago wouldn't apologize to me, even if he could, and he can't. He's dead. (No, I didn't do it.) I've been sick and upset all day, triggered by this thoughtless and stupid thing that someone working at a satirical publication said. So thanks for that. If I could go back in time, I think I'd kick that boy in the 'nads; he earned it.