*Update* The Onion Apologizes For Calling Quvenzhane Wallis The C-Word On Twitter

February 25, 2013  |  


Source: AP Images

There are some things that humor just doesn’t cover. Hopefully, the people behind satirical publication The Onion realized this yesterday evening. During the airing of last night’s 85th Oscar celebration, The Onion called 9 year old Quvenzhane Wallis one of the most derogatory terms associated with women.

We can’t even type it on the site, so I’ll allow you to read it for yourself:

Source: Twitter

The tweet was deleted shortly after. But with the internet, once you press send, it’s out there forever.

Now, we all understand satire. And I’m sure The Onion thought this might be a cute way to say something so outrageous and so untrue that people would just have to love it. But this is completely disrespectful and utterly unacceptable. First, children should just be left out of these types of vulgar jokes one because this word is too charged, too painful, too disgusting and offensive to be used in any type of cheap joke. Furthermore, should 9 year old Quvenzhane stumble upon this little “joke” on the internet, is she even old enough to process it yet?

Usually, I appreciate The Onion’s humor but they’ve gone too far with this one. And hopefully, they’ll issue a sincere, well thought out apology to that effect.

The Wire and Treme actor Wendell Pierce had this to say about the offense:

“Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous.”

Pretty much.

The sickest part of this whole incident is that The Onion’s use of this sexually suggestive word further sexualizes the image of black women, except this time taking it a step further in applying it to a child who likely hasn’t even hit puberty yet. I’m sure there will be plenty of people to argue that this “joke” has nothing to do with race. I’ll argue that maybe that wasn’t the conscious intent behind it; but what I will say is there is too much history of black women being viewed as nothing but sexual objects to not question the motives behind this despicable tweet.

Prison Culture, an organization dedicated to eradicating youth incarceration, appropriately and accurately summed up the bigger issue behind The Onion’s tweet.

Source: Twitter

This is bigger than a joke. The social and historical implications behind this tweet, whether they were intended or not, are hurtful to the psyche. The sentiment represented in that tweet show up in other areas in the lives of black women. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

For now, what’s done is done. In addition to the sincere apology I hope The Onion releases, I also pray that Quvenzhane doesn’t happen to stumble upon this news and her parents don’t have to endure the daunting task of explaining satire, bad humor and what the c-word means to their 9 year old daughter.


This morning on their Facebook page, The Onion apologized for the offensive Tweet.


Source; Facebook


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  • NG

    Racism will never end until Jesus comes! what a BIG shame!

  • This is just disgusting and unacceptable on so many levels; they definitely crossed the line from satire into offensiveness. She’s a child, why is she getting so much hate? And I don’t buy that apology, because they never should have tweeted that in the first place. No one stopped them to say that this might be a bad idea? And I completely agree with the historical implications behind this tweet about Black female sexuality. For those who would say that it’s not that serious or that people are missing the joke (I see none) I would challenge them to think about how they would react if someone called their preteen daughter that word. And we all know that they wouldn’t have done this if little Quvenzhane was white. Horrendous.

  • mac

    “I’m sure there will be plenty of people to argue that this “joke” has nothing to do with race.”

    Looks like I’ll be the first. The comment was unbelievably distasteful, and should never have been said. Now with that being said, I however don’t see any racial intent behind it. Any time a black person is disrespected in the media or anywhere else, people wanna get all Malcolm X and run with the issue, just like this Prison Culture organization did. That’s why the race card is taken with a grain of salt these days. Vote down all you want, but it’s the truth.

    I believe this writer still would’ve posted this idiotic joke even if it was a white child. We’re reaching for a race issue here, and there isn’t one.

    • the FACT is that it HAS NOT been said to a WHITE CHILD. there are plenty of “arrogant” WHITE KIDS (disney,nick) who have never been called such a vile,misogynist word. STAY IN REALITY. STAY WITH THE FACTS.

  • I don’t do twitter so i did not see this, but I know this poor baby will see it from the sheer outrage stemming from it. Who calls a 9 yr old child that name? No matter what color she is? Pure idiocy.

  • Sagittarius81

    Who would call a 9 year old child a c-word? I used to read the Onion a long time ago, but grew up out of it. Yeah, I hope she doesn’t read that garbage tweet either, just plain effed up.

  • she is nine years old. what is wrong with people.

  • Tamz

    Didn’t John Legend’s girlfriend/infinity fiancee have something to say about her as well? I think she called her cocky too. Regardless, you got to be some kind of sicko to try to come at a 9 year old.

  • Lola

    Here are some of the major advertisers for that piece of trash. ask
    them if they are aware of what is going on, let them know bw are a HUGE
    chunk of their consumer base, and let them know POLITELY that you will
    not be using their products because of their association with that blog.

    The Onion doesn’t care about offending you, so don’t bother writing them. HIT EM where it hurts $$$$$$$$$$$

    Call/ Email these Advertisers:







    Ray Ban



  • SMHgurl24

    Now I love all kinds of humor but this is far from funny. How do you call a 9 yr old that?! Some people need a kick in the teeth.

  • Disgusting, these people are just disgusting! They don’t know when enough is enough man, she’s a baby, how dare you?


    WOW…just wow…speechless…..This is “the America” *packing bags* I know they can be racist subliminally but this is a shockeroo!!

  • JewelThompson

    1) I am not shocked about anything said in reference to Black people of any age. We have children being handcuffed in elementary schools – o.k. 2) Did the Onion really put that tweet out there? Or was it some person falsely using the Onion name? 3) Yes Quvenzhane is a nine year old little girl who is a bit self-aware – which is exactly how our children SHOULD be. I am sure after not winning the Oscar that she is still a happy nine year old 4) It’s past time to re-direct our hard-earned dollars where they will benefit us most and stop giving it to entities that don’t respect us or support us.

  • SheBe

    I’m not shocked that this is the length they would go to. The ending song was for the losers. They made reference to her in the song. I thought it was a bit much to throw in the girls face that she was a loser. I know it’s all in fun but it was awkward. Some of these people often have the most tasteless jokes (and I have a very broad sense of humor); it’s as if they don’t think. They say it in hopes of getting a few “likes” and think its cute.

  • JRoc85

    Quvenzhane is a beautiful and talented 9 year old girl, “The Onion” are a bunch of a**holes!!!!!!!!!!! They’re blogging about The Oscars, SHE’S ACTUALLY THERE AS A NOMINEE, that alone tells you who is more important.

  • bluekissess

    I’m so disgusted and angry. What makes me so angry is that we have know one to defend us or fight for us. And when we do it’s a leader we all depend on. This isn’t just a problem with white men who view us as sexual creatures but black men have adopted the same mentality. Stories like this make my stomach turn. God please protect that child.

  • kierah

    That is completely disgusting and offensive! The writer should be identified.
    What part of that remark seems remotely funny?

  • L-Boogie

    I am not shocked. However, I am shocked they would say that about a young girl. The true c!nts are the person(s) responsible for the Tweet.

  • JaneDoe

    Thats beyond disgusting.. MN yoo all missed John Legends girl calling her cocky as well. She is freaking 9 yrs old.. Come on!!!!

    • Oh really? John Legend better watch her.

    • SheBe

      Chrissy Tiegan is the LAST of the Mohecans that should criticize anyone. This child was up for an Oscar. Her name will ALWAYS be preceded by “Oscar Nominated Actress…”. Chrissy was on a lame azz Ciroq commercial with zero face time and is serving as someone’s beard. Really?! Child please! Get your drinking problem together.

      • Ms_Mara

        Yep, called the girl a brat and cocky. smh And they went IN on Twitter and got her right together too! lol I just read some of the responses.

        • SheBe

          That’s ridiculous! At 9 years old (didn’t they make the film when she was like 6 or 7 too?) she has more talent behind a camera than Tiegan ever will. She has a slick mouth anyway and is a liability to John Legend.

  • Coco black

    I’m in shock!!……that’s all I can say right now. I pray that beautiful child doesn’t read that crapp!

  • Plus us being UN rapeable doesn’t sound right.. one because we were always raped.. wow

    • kierah

      The other writer said we were “considered” unrapeable because of our status as property and prevailing belief that Black women are sexually aggressive and promiscuous. Of course we were raped, but the masters didn’t consider it rape.

  • bigdawgman

    They went waaay too far with that one! Doesn’t matter her race either, calling 9-year olds that is just some effed up mess! Just shows some people don’t really know what humor is. Like Seth McFarlane.