The Onion is a parody web site — one that regularly attracts attention for its over-the-top and fictitious headlines and faux news stories. While the outlet will occasionally offend, it’s not everyday that it steps so far over the line that a public apology is warranted. However, a message that was circulated on The Onion’s official Twitter feed on Sunday has the company’s CEO, Steve Hannah, issuing an official redress.
During the Academy Awards, the satirical web site sent a message that quickly raised eyebrows — and outrage. Commenting about Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9-year-old star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the tweet read, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c**t, right? #Oscars2013.”
The use of the c-word to describe a child was quickly derided in media and across social media. On Monday morning, Hannah took to The Onion’s official Facebook page to issue a public apology for the tweet.
“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,” he wrote. “It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.”
The CEO went on to say that no one should be forced to be labeled with such a “senseless, humorless” title. Hannah said that the message was removed within an hour of its publication and that new Twitter policies will be implemented to ensure that an incident like this doesn’t happen again. The Onion is also planning to discipline those individuals involved.
“Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry,” he continued.
Wallis was the youngest woman ever to be nominated for the Best Actress category.