You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

The Onion Apologizes for Tweet About Quvenzhané Wallis

The Onion Apologizes for Tweet About Quvenzhané Wallis

Just as I expected… The Onion apologized this morning for last night’s Oscar tweet that referred to 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis with an obscene reference, which saw plenty of criticism leveled against the satirical publication.

It was a night full of humor that many felt crossed the lines of decency, with Seth MacFarlane, the Oscars host, also causing a bit of a stir (although not quite like the mess The Onion started) when he said about Ms. Wallis, that “it’ll be 16 years before she’s too old for” George Clooney, a joke that was also criticized for being too crude, especially in the young actress’s presence.

Here’s the letter of apology from The Onion:

Feb. 25, 2013

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.


Steve Hannah


The Onion

This Article is related to: News


Gary Hughes

for quvenzhane wallis.

beautiful honey babygirl
i apologize/for this world
the one where your grandparents
and mine/and theirs
and so on
could not eradicate true racism
through the sacrifice of tears and sweat
and breath/this world
where skin causes suffering
between those who share
the same blood
although seem will want you to believe
that is outlandish
it is not

i apologize

there is still not enough love and faith and hope
to help those who are ill
get well/because dear miss wallis
racism is a disease of the soul
a spiritual affliction/for the small thinkers
and my grandma Cat told me
it requires the kind of healing
"every body got to pray for"
she was born in 1904/she knew

i offer
as paltry and ineffectual as it may be
simply this

i will continue to wage my war
on this blight/this awful ugly thing
that causes adults to remain
in a sad place/who raise children there
far outside God's glorious unifying light
where beautiful brown girls
who rock puppy purses and say thank you and please
even those who fight and cry and don't know why
for those who struggle and those who don't
all of them/every single one
are not treasured and valued and protected
by us all.

By Glynis Boyd Hughes

Greg B

Jesus, really? It wasn't meant to insult her, but to parody gossips by creating an outrageously absurd piece of gosssip. That doesn't mean it was good parody or well thought-out, but it wasn't malicious. She was the vehicle for the satire, not the target.

All of you calling for the writer to be fired, or for the Onion to be shut down… I don't know if you're merely imitating the writer by making intentionally stupid over-the-top statements or if you are actually as humorless and reactionary as you appear.

Get mad at the gossips who REALLY talk this way about people. Get mad at the people whose behavior this unfortunate joke was trying to make fun of. But really calling for the Onion to be shut down and/or the author to be fired is just humorless fu**ishness and a desperate cry for a clue.


The writer of the insult leveled at Quvenzhane Wallis will definitely be seeking protection from the ass whooping that will be forthcoming as a result of his stupidity….and more than likely, he will seek pity. Forget that! I hope he is caught in the open, defenseless and made to suffer with absolute fear. He needs to learn the consequences of being a punk assed internet troll, and that hiding behind a cellulose screen won't keep you safe…To follow that point, THE ONION should be shut down…


I think this is one of the most horrible things to call a person, and for a grown person to make that comment on twitter is very sicking. I think the apology came as a result of getting caught.

common sense


For someone who doesn't seem overly concerned with this issue, you sure are popping up a lot in the comment feed. You can stop now. We get it, you aren't offended. Carry on.

LOL @ "this has nothing to do with being united". A great, sweeping comment with nothing to base it on. You're no longer needed in this thread.


The number of people who are getting outraged over this is ridiculous. The tweet was meant to be sarcastic. It's funny precisely BECAUSE Quvenzhane is so obviously NOT a c***. Anyone should be able to see that. It's like saying Hitler was a wonderful person. Nobody will believe that. I think everyone should just lighten up.

Mandred Henry

I hope he's prepared for an angry father… (about as sincere as the Unions' apology!)!


Why did they apologize to the Academy? The Academy wasn't wronged in this instance. Also, this won't change anything. The Onion apologizes, but if no advertisers pull their funding, etc., what lessons have been learned? None. As it is, people can call you everything but a child of God in the name of "freedom of speech" and satire, and then they can apologize with no repercussions. This is a child. There should be repercussions. Someone or a group of people should be fired, and advertisement should be pulled. The fact that the tweet even entered someone's mind says a lot about that lowlife.


I'm getting weary of satire becoming the modus operandi for sexist, racist homophobes. I was just waiting for the old 'I've been hacked' to be issued. The other one that drives me crazy is when people get incredibly nasty and then have the nerve to stick an 'LOL' on the end, as if that makes it okay.
I'm not surprised sadly by the workings of entitled idiots hiding under the shield of an invented 'post racial' (whatever that means) sham. CBS/New York Times conducted a poll recently that said that Whites expressing Anti-Black sentiments has increased over the past 5 years.
The only thing that did surprise me was the venue. I was under the impression that Onion did satire in a reasonably intelligent manner. There is nothing witty about their comments. Just trash with no redeeming qualities.


The tweet along with Seth MacFarlane's comments make me wonder if bell hooks' review was really that far off…???


For a grown man to verbally attack a nine-year-old with vicious sexual language is degenerate and psychopathic. Until this child attacker is identified and removed from The Onion's employment, The Onion can consider itself culpable.


If there are no rolling heads, there really isn't an apology.


This is typical. An apology is always given after the damage.


This may be an indication that The Onion's days are over. I hope so. When something like this can be generated, it indicates (to me) that something is really wrong.


Abigail Breslin and Dakota Fanning weren't subjected to this. Boy oh boy oh boy.


This is what happens when we stay united and speak with one voice.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *