Sorry Former Onion Staffers, Calling a 9-year Old the C-Word Isn’t Funny

Last night The Onion sent out a tweet about 9-year old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis wherein they called her a “cunt.” We can only imagine this resulted from being an adorable little kid who was totally enjoying her run as an Oscar contender? Or because picking on kids who bring puppy purses to high profile events is all the rage now? The CEO quickly apologized, but some former staffers believe that it lowers The Onion‘s integrity to, you know, apologize for being a ginormous jerk to a little kid.

Because they removed the offensive tweet some are saying that “it shows they don’t have faith in the writers, or in their public.” Oh, okay, right. By removing this tweet:

the_onion_tweetThis shows that they don’t have faith in their public? We can only assume that means those who oppose the apology believe that The Onion has too much faith that the public will rightfully think that only bottom-feeding, Seth MacFarlane megalomaniacs and his ilk would rely on the weirdness of labeling a child with an offensive adult tag like “cunt” is the best fodder for frat boy humor. And that friends, worked out so well for MacFarlane who was taken to task rather brilliantly by Vulture’s Margaret Lyons today for distasteful jokes at the expense of women last night.

The former Onion employees seem stuck on the fact that this is “the first time The Onion has ever retracted anything and run a real apology” which is exactly what you do when you act in bad taste and say something juvenile and outrageously inappropriate just for shock value.

Former staffers are concerned that this backtracking could cost the organization their editorial freedom — which sounds more than a bit rash — no one’s suggesting out-and-out censorship. Just maybe not wallowing in gallows humor and becoming a place that goes for the low-hanging fruit in the joke world, and instead actually puts some effort into finding funny things to say in 140 characters without resorting to “Haha! She’s a baby-cunt! Larf and larf with us because we called it, right? Right?! We’re so goddamn clever! Don’t mind us. We’ll be over here preening about our spectacular insult of a pre-teen. Pssst, can we stick an Angelina Jolie Leg Photo Bomb inside her puppy purse while we’re at it?”

Buzzfeed reports that former Onion editor in chief Joseph Randazzo and his new project Thing X sent out a mock Onion apology press release that said:

[W]e have taken immediate action and murdered every intern involved with these incidents.

I feel like such a cunt right now.


Steve Banannah

Oh, geesh. This is really what the grown up Onion CEO Steve Hannah should have said instead of:

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

We’re thinking no. Hannah did the right thing.

One good thing, despite this spate of weirdness, Quvenzhané Wallis has managed to take her considerable talent and new found star power to make her way into the starring role of the feature film adaptation of the classic musical Annie. So we think she’ll be just fine — you know until former Onion staffers start making fun of orphans and homeless dogs.

Image: Wikimedia

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