[Updated Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 9:30 a.m. PT, to add that The Onion has now apologized for the tweet.]
The website The Onion has come under fire for what’s being described as a vulgar tweet about 9-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis. Fox News reports that the site posted the message about the youngster during the Academy Awards telecast and then quickly deleted it.
The Onion later apologized for the tweet.
Wallis was nominated for best actress for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The Onion’s tweet, which created an uproar in the Twitterverse, read: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a c*nt, right? #Oscars2013.”
“Users immediately came to Wallis’ defense, slamming the satirical site for the ‘joke,’” the report says. “And though The Onion deleted the tweet shortly after posting it, plenty of users managed to get screen shots of the offending message.”
Among the criticisms that were posted following the tweet:
“The Onion was tasteless for that tweet. It’s never okay to use that word towards anyone, especially someone’s child.”
“Calling a 9 year old child a c-word in one of the biggest nights of her life was going too far even for the onion. Classless.”
“@TheOnion Unfollowing you. Your tweet about a 9-yr-old child was stunningly inappropriate. That’s not satire or a joke. That’s sick.”
“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?”
The Onion apologized Monday morning for the tweet, posting the apology on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
“In a rare moment of seriousness for the publication, Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, called the tweet a mistake and said the site had already ‘instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures,’" Fox News reported. “He acknowledged that the comment was ‘crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.’"
Hannah’s comment included a note addressed personally to the young actress: "Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."