Support for Quvenzhane Wallis grows

February 28, 2013NewsComments
Support for Quvenzhane Wallis grows

This year's Academy Awards had its far share of up and downs, but perhaps the biggest controversy of the night surrounded a 9-year-old actress. Quvenzhane Wallis should have been on cloud nine - she was nominated in the Best Actress category for her role in the film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - making her the youngest nominee ever. However, the satirical newspaper, The Onion, tarnished her big night, and many people around the nation and within the industry are up in arms. 

Tweet heard round the world
Known for its off-color humor, The Onion took it a step to far on its Twitter account, writing, "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a [expletive], right?"

Within seconds of the tweet, sent out at 8:42 pm, countless people from around the globe took to their own Twitter accounts to reprimand the site for using such an obscene word while speaking about a child.

Wendell Pierce, of the show "The Wire," used his Twitter account, @WendellPierce, to ask the fake news source to hand over the writer of the tweet writing, "@TheOnion Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous."

Is an apology enough?
The Onion took down the tweet shortly after it was posted, but the damage was done, and many were calling for an apology. An apology did come a day later and was posted on the paper's official Facebook page. The letter, addressed to the readers and written by Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, offered an apology to Wallis herself and to those who were negatively affected by the tweet.

"On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhane 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 letter went on to say the company was "taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible."

How stars have reacted
Even though Wallis' special night was tarnished by the cruel words of The Onion, stars like Octavia Spencer have been stepping up to offer the young actress advice on how to best move forward. Spencer admitted to the New York Post that she told Wallis to always be herself no matter what anyone tells her to do or what they think she should be, to simply stay true to herself. 

It seems as though Wallis is coping amidst the scandal - she's reportedly been cast as the star of the new film version of "Annie."

Do you think The Onion was out of line? Do you think more should have been done to right the issue?

February 28, 2013NewsComments