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article image'Onion' CEO issues apology for Quvenzhané Wallis c-word tweet

By Yukio Strachan     Feb 25, 2013 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - "The Onion" made a rare apology Monday to 9-year-old best actress Oscar nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis, for the "senseless, humorless comment," the satirical publication published Sunday night on its Twitter account.
The offending post, which was deleted about an hour or so after it was published, was posted Sunday night around the same time that Seth MacFarlane, the Oscars host, remarked about Wallis that “it’ll be 16 years before she’s too old for” George Clooney, a joke that was also criticized for being insensitive to the young actress, The New York Times reported.
The tweet read: "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a [c-word], right?"
The backlash was swift and severe from followers of The Onion’s Twitter account and continued overnight on Twitter and Facebook.
Many fans called for an apology, some boycotted the publication by unfollowing its Twitter account, and others started a petition calling for "action to guarantee that such reprehensible actions are never seen again."
Still, some longtime fans of The Onion doubted that the publication would apologize, tweeting it was just doing its job.
But late Monday morning, The Onion’s CEO Steve Hannah did just that. Writing on Facebook, Hannah issued a rare apology to the “Beasts of the Southern Wild” star, saying that “no person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.” The statement continues:
Dear Readers,
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. It 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.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible. Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
Sincerely, Steve Hannah CEO The Onion
According to the Washington Post, that type of mea culpa is unusual for The Onion. In September 2011, after @TheOnion tweeted reports of “screams and gunfire” inside the Capitol, a spokesperson said only “this is satire. That’s how it works,” in response to the outrage that followed, The Post reported.
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