Home Pop Culture Racist? Should the Onion have apologized after calling Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis...

Racist? Should the Onion have apologized after calling Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis a cunt.

Quvenzhane Wallis
Quvenzhane Wallis
Quvenzhane Wallis. Just a little cunt?

Who’s the cunt now?

Satirical journal the Onion have been forced to do an abrupt about turn after overwhelming furore against the journal went on and called 9 year old  Oscar nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis a cunt.

A Tweet posted by @TheOnion during last night’s Oscars ceremony said: ‘Everybody else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*** right?’

The post, which was deleted an hour later, provoked a storm of complaints, and the website’s CEO Steve Hannah has now personally apologised to the best actress nominee for the ‘crude and offensive‘ tweet, adding that steps were being taken to ‘discipline those individuals responsible.’

In a statement that was posted on Facebook Mr Hannah said he and everybody at the Onion were ‘deeply sorry’ for the remark.

‘No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire,‘ the statement said.

‘Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better.’

Interesting now the media is being muzzled for simply expressing an opinion or raising a question, irrespective of whether we as an entity regard such questions or observations palatable or not. Even failed funny. Then again as writers, must we always hold such precocious politically correct point of views, can’t we simply be allowed to offend, jab, provoke, ridicule, question from time to time?

Actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in Treme, described the tweet as an ‘abhorrent verbal attack of a child’, while another critic called for the writer behind the post to get ‘exactly what they deserve. From both the law and the street’.

Blogger Elizabeth Hawskworth suggested there was a racist undertone to the deleted post (really Elizabeth?), tweeting: ‘Quvenzhané 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.’

Who was also expressing general concern were fans of the spoof website itself were among with many going on to express their distaste and disappointment at its use of the expletive in reference to the child star.

‘Oh boo to the Onion. I generally find them hilarious but I draw the line at calling 9 year olds ugly names, even in jest,’ said one tweet, while another read: ‘I know the Onion jokes about everything but this is inappropriate’.

Who also came under furore was E! Fashion police co host,Kelly Osbourne who instead of referring to the actress by her proper full name instead called her ‘little Q’ during ceremonial processions.

‘It is rude, unprofessional and borderline racist to not even try to pronounce her name properly.’

Another tweeted: ‘Not learning her name is racist. Calling her Annie is racist. Saying she says her name the best is racist.’

One critic on twitter even went so far to offer the following: ‘Aren’t you paid to be a host? Do your research and practice her name. Stupid Kelly Osbourne.’

Offered another: ‘OMG are they calling her little Q because they can’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce her name!?!’

‘Seriously though, the media need to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis’ name. Resorting to little q is disrespectful.’

Quvenzhané was nominated for an Oscar for her starring role as Hushpuppy in critically acclaimed drama Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Although she missed out on a statuette, Quvenzhané still made history as the youngest ever Oscar nominee in the best actress category.

And then there were these reactions on the web that caused me to wonder if perhaps the hubris was overdone and that certain media interests picked up on potentially offensive wording not necessarily because they believe in maintaining the sanctity of nine year old girls, especially black actresses who now get to be nominated for best actress awards but more so because it would have been too embarrassing to have ignored the hubris which is what the Onion was probably really calling attention to in the first place. Or simply it was a cheap shot aimed at self validation when in reality most of these media agents do very little to address race relations and if anything probably sanction the rampant discrimination that goes on relentlessly in the United States.


Commented some on the web:

Michelle Obama can’t even pronounce “Quvenzhané”………I guess she’s racist too.


North American society is increasingly humorless. Everybody is in favour of free speech, but only when it is angry and not funny. If you cannot read that tweet as anything other than a joke, then you need your head examined. To find it not funny is one thing, but to think that the writer was actually calling her the c word…Then again, there are a whole whack of people who may read The Onion and think it is a legit news media outlet.


He shouldn’t of called her C—t but it is not racist to not be able to pronounce somebody’s name, Black people regularly offend white people and it seems okay, saying things like that are racist is as bad as being racist because you devalue the word, people from certain communities that cast this aspersion on a regular basis should take note!


I think Kelly was just being friendly and endearing saying “little Q ” don’t see anything wrong with it. All this clap trap about race and being politically correct all the time is breeding contempt and prejudice. When I moved to Canada I was called a tea bag because I’m British, it didn’t bother me.Seems like people are just out to cause problems when there are real issues in the world that need attention.

I’m usually very defensive of the Onion; but this went way too far. I understand what they’re satirizing. But 1. it doesn’t quite work. 2. It’s a 9-year-old kid.


While I chose a different word to describe that child and her attitude, the sentiment was exactly the same. Kudos to the Onion for calling it as they see it!


The most insulting thing here is the patronizing press coverage of this incident. It’s very important that the press treat us like babies by refusing to say what actually happened because, as they say in the biz, they don’t want to upset anyone over their breakfast cereal. If they do, the theory goes, they might offend an advertiser here in the United States of Advertising. And so we get euphemisms and vagaries. It’s very troubling that the Onion would call someone a ______! I can’t believe anyone would call someone a _____! I guess we just fill in the word. And maybe, just maybe, if the thought police in the newsroom would stop treating us like 6th graders (that IS the level of writing U.S. newspapers require so as not to trip up stupid Americans), I might even be offended. Samuel L. Jackson recently called out the press on the idea that, in the land of imaginary free speech, there are words that cannot be said (and of course, Google will filter out many many words, so no real discussion is possible). Of course his comments were heavily censored. Sorry Samuel, but ad revenue trumps free speech every time.

The Onion deserves every broadside it gets on this one… You can go after most any adult and call it satire… But you go after a young kid and it’s abuse.

Uhh, why the outrage? It’s a satire site, and the tweet was funny. It’s specifically funny because it’s NOT true. It’s a ridiculous statement. The only reason someone could think it’s offensive is if they think there’s some truth behind it. Who’s the horrible one here?


Oh, of COURSE they said it because she’s black? Don’t you know by now? Simply EVERYONE who possesses white skin literally hates black people more than they hate cancer or world hunger. The hate is THAT BAD!


It was the sexualizing of a little black girl via a misogynist comment. Saying that they do it to everyone doesn’t change that. If you’re cool with little black girls being sexualized, then by all means say so.



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