Satirical news outlet The Onion has apologized for taking its offbeat brand of humor a step too far during last night’s Oscars, when it referred to 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis by a derogatory name.
Toward the end of the ceremony, The Onion tweeted from its official Twitter account, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013,” presumably in sarcastic reaction to the overwhelming adoration received by the young star of Beast of the Southern Wild during awards season. An hour later, the tweet was deleted, but the damage was done. Social media users exploded in outrage at The Onion’s choice of words, with many calling for the tweet’s author to be fired immediately.
This morning, The Onion posted an official apology on its Facebook page, calling the tweet “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,” wrote CEO Steve Hannah. “Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.”
Hannah also added that The Onion is instituting “new and tighter Twitter procedures” and will be taking “immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible” for the offending tweet.