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Oscars: The Onion Under Fire for Calling Quvenzhane Wallis the C-Word

10:15 PM PST 02/24/2013 by Philiana Ng
John Shearer/Invision/AP
Quevenzhane Wallis

UPDATED: On Sunday night, the satirical news organization referenced the 9-year-old Oscar nominee using a derogatory term, later deleting the tweet. The Onion issues an apology.

The Onion is under fire.

While the top awards were being handed out Sunday at the 85th Oscars, the satirical news organization sent out a message on its official Twitter account calling 9-year-old best actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis the C-word.

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The tweet, sent out around 8:42 p.m. PST, quickly made the rounds on the social media website. An hour later, the offending message was deleted from The Onion's feed. CEO Steve Hannah issued an apology Monday morning.

There was outcry, with many deeming it inappropriate and a cheap dig. Treme and The Wire actor Wendell Pierce called out The Onion, tweeting: "Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous."

Wrote Yahoo! Canada's Greg Hughes: "The Onion made a pretty significant faux pas tonight on Quvenzhane Wallis. They deleted the tweet, but the Internet doesn't ever forget."

"Tonight @TheOnion behaved more like a 9yo than Quvenzhane Wallis, posting a tweet just to get attention. Well you've got it. Now what?" tweeted a user named Miss Lori.

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Twitter user John Jones wrote: "Comedians usually stick to their guns, right or wrong. Pretty telling that the Onion pulled their tweet about young Quvenzhane Wallis..."

Elizabeth Hawksworth tweeted: "Quvenzhane 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."

In his apology, Hannah said the tweet "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." He also noted that the group has "instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again."

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
Twitter: @insidethetube

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