Post Oscars Tweets Leave a Bad Taste In Our Mouths

As you probably know by now, the Oscars hosted by Hollywood’s “It” boy, Seth MacFarlane, walked right up to the edge as was expected from the “Family Guy” comedian.


Photo by lincolnblues via Flickr

Photo by lincolnblues via Flickr

MacFarlane was tittering on the tight rope of funny and formal with an audience of millions across the world who probably didn’t understand half his jokes.

One person in the audience certainly  had the hardest time keeping up with MacFarlane, and that was 9 year-old Qvenzhanae Wallis, the Best Actress nominee for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The opening number (albeit about 10 minutes into the broadcast), “We Saw Your Boobs” probably had little Q chuckling, but as the night progressed and the jokes got darker and harder to understand, Hushpuppy likely got bored, as did many adults watching the show on TV.

However, though the jokes likely flew over the little girl’s head, Twitter was aflutter with another over-the-edge tweet that centered around the unsuspecting and innocent child.

The satirical outlet The Onion posted a tweet that up until now had not tested the depths of public crudeness. For your eyes only, and read at your own risk, the tweet is found below.

 Oscars Onion Tweet

What in the hell prompeted someone, anyone, to use the most public of forums, Twitter, to lay an insult like that on a defenseless child?  

A coward, that’s who. And that type of cowardice comes from someone with less education than what the 9 year-old has probably had in her short life.

The Onion crossed a line, and later deleted the tweet, a whole hour later, after complaints started to come in. But it was too late.  The screenshots of this unprecedented low blow were caught and archived for posterity.

This morning The Onion posted an apology for Wallis on Facebook, not on Twitter, as of this writing.

 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, humor…less 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.


Steve Hannah
The Onion

Even more worrisome, is that Hollywood in general keeps pushing our society to pierce all veils of propriety not just with their movies, but in daily language.

Hollywood business is conducted among a sea of expletives that have become  common place and part of daily conversations in La La Land; f-bombs are  indistinguishalbe from proper and business-like lexicons.

Sure, sometimes hearing the elegant Keira Knightly lay an F-Bomb here and there can be rather funny. Or when Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence curses like a sailor on set is also comical.

But children, minors to be precise, should not be the butt of crude jokes, and much less of rude and public quips like the one The Onion acerbically published.

Hollywood, you should place limits on these types of artistic freedoms. Or is it freedom of expression?

Crass should never substitute class for a laugh or a dollar.

Having The Onion drop a dollar in Qvenzhanae’s cuss bowl as a fine for breaking the ethics and good taste rules is likely not enough to repair the damage.

It is disconcerting to think that there is a line of approvals that a tweet like that crass one had to go through before the author could hit “tweet” on the 140 character site.

The Onion should be peeled layer by layer until there’s nothing left.

The question remains, how many heads will roll in this process?


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