The Onion is not for everyone. And that’s one of the reasons I have been a fan of theirs for so long. They push the envelope, and say the things that nobody else will. I never laugh harder at things than I do at the Onion.
But tonight was different. As they were tweeting during the Oscars telecast, someone put up a tweet in the Onion‘s account that called young Quvenzhane Wallis a terribly derogatory word. I won’t repeat it here, and I can’t link to it because it seems to have been taken down in the past few minutes. It begins with the letter C, and it’s something I wouldn’t call anyone. It’s tasteless enough to use the term to begin with, but then again they are the Onion.
But as the father of a nine-year old daughter, I would want to rip the head off of anyone who used such a term in describing my daughter. It sounds bad for the Onion to do this, because it is bad. Really, really bad. She’s nine and–movie actress or not–this is an insult that nobody should have to endure.
The tweet seems to have been taken down, and perhaps this story exists only on Twitter for the moment. But that doesn’t give the Onion a pass, either. It’s still out there in cached screen grabs, and it will get commented upon, as it should be. A statement and an apology–both of which are totally out of character for the Onion–must be made.
The parents of every young child (or at least the ones who use Twitter) are waiting to see whether children should be left alone, or whether they are satirical fair game. I’m hoping it’s the former.
UPDATE: The Onion has issued this apology, which is all that they could do once this tweet went out. Hats off to them for owning up to this as they have.