The Idiocy of Racism: The Onion Calls Quvenzhane Wallis the C-Word



It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and I am feeling good. Real good. That is until I read a text saying “Have you seen this shit The Onion tweeted?” I raise a quizzical eyebrow and proceed to discover the latest foolishness that finds its home on Twitter. I was thinking maybe it was some more Harlem Shake responses or perhaps Lisa Lampanelli was vomiting out of her mouth again; all likely possibilities.

Alas, the question posed was actually referring to a vulgar epithet hurled at youngest ever Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. According to Buzzfeed, The Onion decided to tweet this:



Buzzfeed reported that after being up for an hour and receiving a mass backlash, The Onion removed the tweet. However, what is written on Twitter can never be fully erased, as is apparent in this image above. And as I stare at the 17-word tweet, it amazes me how this type of racism and sexism can be directed toward a child.

Wait, did I really just say that. I am not shocked. I am not surprised. Of course this talented 9-year-old black girl is a cunt! Of course she is. Why? Because she is black and she is female. And she lives in one of the most racist countries in the world that continues to falsely proclaim that they have now entered a post-racial era. Antiquated yet degrading stereotypes placed upon black women for decades upon decades seem to manifest in this single tweet. Unfortunately, these jezebel and sapphire categories seem inescapable even for young little black girls.

I am trying to understand what makes Miss Wallis a cunt. Is it because she knows who she is and refuses to allow anyone to define her? As in when she politely told a reporter at the Oscars not to call her Annie. Or is it because she is not shy about telling people how to pronounce her name? If these are the reasons, someone needs to update the urban dictionary to include name pronunciation and name correction under the definition of cunt.

The sad thing is I never heard the word “cunt” to mean something positive. So I can’t even try to give The Onion the benefit of the doubt. It is a derogatory word and their is no getting around it. Which means The Onion intentionally tweeted it with malice and malevolence. Why else would you label Wallis with a vulgar term that sexualizes and reduces her to her reproductive organ. The child probably hasn’t even reached puberty let alone entered the double digits and already she is being called a cunt? This is outrageous!  If this was meant to be a joke, that was an epic FAIL on The Onion’s part. I pretty sure no one is laughing. If anything The Onion has just solidified its place as a racist, sexist, and misogynistic publication that participates in the degradation of black women. I wonder was this their intention?

What are your thought’s on The Onion’s Tweet? Racist or just a joke?


146 thoughts on “The Idiocy of Racism: The Onion Calls Quvenzhane Wallis the C-Word

  1. Honestly, I love(d) The Onion. I thought it was funny and witty, but this comment went far too far for me. Reducing a young, talented, woman of color to something as brash and hurtful as a single, sexually charged, derogatory term is pretty unbelievable. I appreciate that SOMEONE had the sense to have them revoke that tweet, but the damage has been done. The Onion has officially received MY “unsubscribe”.

    • ezanoletti: She’s not a woman. She’s NINE for goodness’ sake! And she is so adorable! Also, I didn’t find the onion’s comment funny at all. It was clearly, inescapably, and provably rude, offensive, mean, vulgar, misguided, and ridiculous. There was NO evidence that there was anything racist about the comment, though. Any contention that there was is pure speculation based on one’s individual preconditioned perspective. That doesn’t make it true. One would have to know the person’s heart and their intent to determine of an act was racist. A third-party observer’s baseless, individual speculations or assumptions are NOT enough to warrant leveling charges of something so heinous as racism at another person. Sometimes, people are just obnoxious, knuckleheaded a**holes and they don’t care what race you are. Other than that, I agree with your comments. The Onion has receive my “unsubscribe” too.

  2. The Onion is a satire publication so all of its tweets are supposed to be jokes, or in this case a very pathetic attempt at a joke. Quvenzhané was an adorable, polished young lady at the Oscars and I think that’s why somebody thought it would be funny to call her the C-word – because she clearly was the opposite. Of course that comment was extremely inappropriate and I’m glad that it was removed, but I don’t think it had anything to do with race

    • I think Carolyn’s comment is accurate as to The Onion’s intentions… the tweet is so extreme and ridiculously misplaced that The Onion assumes it will read as ‘funny.’ However, it is extremely disturbing. Funny is not even on my radar… not even when I know it comes from The Onion. Like Carolyn, I also do not see the comment as race related, but I certainly see it as sexist and abusive… The Onion (satirical or not) should know better than to perpetuate this kind of abuse towards women and children.

      • **I totally agree…I’d not use the C word to describe any woman; let alone a child. Whether extreme or satire; it was VERY tasteless to do so. I don’t care if its the Onion. Very uncool! I mean whats next? Because it is so-called funny slinging the N word around? Far too many use such tactics for attention or to gain readers…in my opinion such actions deter me from even having an interest in checking the Onion out. Which, btw, I’ve never even heard of the Onion until reading this post.

      • I agree. I do not use the word but I have a few over seas friends who use the word loosely in a joking manner, it is not meant to be taken literal. How we perceive things is relative to our up bringing and environment. diction is also a cultural thing.

  3. This is more disgusting than anything Seth MacFarlene said at the Oscars! I’m reminded of ultra-Orthodox rabbis calling little girls “whores” because their shirt sleeves aren’t long enough. It’s hurtful and it’s just another way to keep women down. I’m appalled.

    • Color. Was. Never. Mentioned.

      You can sound as inflamed as you want to regarding the use of “cunt”, but to stretch your outrage into race is simply fictitious. If was meant to be shocking, to cause discussion and debate- and it did.

      Was it the attention they wanted? No.
      Was it funny? No.

      To assume that the comment was racist or misogynistic is knee-jerk at best. It wasnt funny, the end- and in the wise words of Ricky Gervais

      “Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

      If you want to write about being offended, that’s great. Making up things about what offended you makes you sound like a cunt.

      • Color doesn’t have to be mentioned for a remark to be racist. For instance, I doubt the Onion would ever have thought it was funny to call, say, Dakota Fanning a cunt for no apparent reason. Ms. Wallis is an easier target because she’s more of a minority. People who make “jokes” like that count on the audience and society at large being unwilling to take a stand against it. It’s not blatant racism, but it is racism nonetheless.

        And how, exactly, is calling a nine-year-old girl a cunt NOT misogynistic?

        Additionally, if it wasn’t funny… why are you defending it? Just because you’re not offended doesn’t mean you’re right.

      • Clearly, pennyposh, you’re not familiar with The Onion’s brand of humor. They wouldn’t hesitate to call Dakota Fanning a cunt. Race had nothing to do with this, it was a lame attempt at humor and it failed in a big way. The “victim” of the humor just happened to be black.

    • I agree. It’s a very crude and inappropriate joke. However, it is at most sexist not racist. To construe it any other way is reading into it from someone else’s personal and cultural background, and not from its own cold harsh words.

  4. I love some downright rude humour, but I’m genuinely confused as to how anyone at The Onion could have thought that this was a joke in any way. Perhaps the pressure of attempting to come up with quips at the speed of live social media led to a complete and utter failure to include any comedy at that moment.

  5. I am a disgusting, belligerent man and I’d never call a grown human being that word, let alone a little girl. As the father of a 9 year old girl myself, I shutter at the frustration this little one’s parents must have right now in trying to shield her from such nonsense on the one hand while wanting to go blow up the Onion on the other. Just because this girl is talented and famous, at the end of the day, she’s still a little girl.

    There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, even when joking, and as you said, the C word is never used in a positive context and is universally understood to be offensive.

    Nice post.

  6. completely rude and uncalled for, she deserves a direct apology from them…I’m not sure how it was racist, however, i think that is far-fetched…how do you not know the author of that post is black? would you have called it racist still if she were a white actress and you knew the author was black?

    • I agree, I think it is a horrifying thing to write and nowhere close to funny, but racist?? It doesn’t say anything about her skin color. I think she’s adorable and talented- shame on The Onion. They managed to outdo themselves in a terrible way. And this is coming from a person who really appreciates crude and inappropriate humor on most occasions!! But anyway, not sure I see the racist link.

  7. I think it was disgusting and hateful to target a nine-year-old girl, no matter her race. I think the Onion did it for the reasons stated above: it is soooo absurd, I think they thought it would be seen as ridiculous, not hateful. Epic fail, Onion.

  8. I can’t believe they tweeted that. Good that they had the sense to take it down and apologize, but the comment was unforgivable, however, I fail to see how racism made its way into your post.

  9. I was so saddened to see that tweet, it was heartless and cruel. No reason for it really, and if it was an attempt at humor… man it fell so beyond flat it is indescribable. It’s actually shocking that something so sexist and rude could even be directed at a sweet little 9 year old. Also, why is a part of the female anatomy even an insult? Thanks for bringing attention to this issue.

  10. You were doing well when you began by defending ‘a little girl,’ which is what this is about – a little girl, not a little black girl. The Onion goes too far, that’s what they do, and they’re funny, but this one crashed and burned like many jokes do(it was tasteless). Yet, to label this as sexism and racism is silly and quite ridiculous. And guess what, I can’t say her name either, along with countless others.

  11. While I do think The Onion crossed the line with its choice of words, I don’t think their joke (“joke” used loosely because it wasn’t funny) was intended to racially discriminate, as I could see The Onion publishing the same tweet about any actress, young or old, black or white. Because they are so satirical and play on current events, people, etc., I think the whole jab was actually their way of addressing the fact that people do love Quvenzhané; she’s young, talented, innocent, and hasn’t done anything to make anyone think otherwise. Again, “cunt” was definitely the wrong choice of words — much too far for referring to a young girl, and I don’t think it was funny (however harsh), but I think I can see how the wheels were spinning in the mind of the individual who posted that tweet.

  12. Definitely sexist. Racist as well. I didn’t see them calling Fátima Ptacek (the other pre-teen actress who was there that night, and happens to be white) a cunt. Why was young Miss Wallis a cunt? Did she dare to enjoy herself on a night when you are supposed to be cool and aloof? Was it because she dressed and acted her age in a room where no woman deign to look, let alone act their age? Honestly, I get that the Onion is supposed to be satirical, but they broke the first rule of comedy… the joke MUST BE FUNNY.
    Excellent post. Congrats of Freshly Pressed.

    • “I didn’t see them calling Fátima Ptacek (the other pre-teen actress who was there that night, and happens to be white) a cunt.” I didn’t watch the Oscars and didn’t know that part. Oh yes, the Onion was definitely being racist.

  13. I imagine the “joke” here is that people say these kind of things about people at the Oscars all the time, but it’s absurd to imagine someone calling a 9-year old anything this nasty. Someone sent this without considering that using a slur against an actual child might be a touch horrible. There’s really nothing racial here, it’s just thoughtless and vulgar.

  14. It’s amazing to me how many intelligent people do not fully understand the concept of humor rooted in opposites. Had The Onion called Miss Wallace “cute,” “adorable,” or “talented,” that would have been insulting. Calling her a cunt was calling her anything but.

    I think it’s silly that they removed their tweet because a few people couldn’t process satire correctly.

    Quvenzhane Wallis is a beautiful, talented young person. We think that, the Onion obviously thinks that, and everyone things that. What’s sad is where her name was once only associated with the beauty of her work, it’s not associated with a base term because so many people took it the wrong way.

    Without the backlash, “googling” her name today would only reveal the accolades her talent and work earned. Instead, you and every other person on this bandwagon, have linked it to the very filth you are protesting.

    Well done.

    • I agree with your point, but they still should have known better to use something so horrifyingly vulgar to a 9-year-old girl. They could have used something milder or not said the joke at all.

    • Thank you!

      Also, last time I checked the word cunt refers to a specific part of a woman’s body, not the color of her skin. I don’t see what race has to do with it.

  15. Obvious racism isn’t so clear cut. Yet, I definitely believe racism may be behind it. A young black girl receives the attention a jealous tweeter craves. With jealousy on their minds, they make a nasty tweet about it. What gets me is the part where it goes afraid to say it. As if they were afraid of being called racist?

    • What makes it worse is that the Onion is not just some single individual seeking 15 minutes of internet fame. They are relatively well known online, they didn’t really need to lower themselves to such a level just to try to get a few RT’s.

  16. People commenting are just a little too quick to announce it as “not racist” of COURSE it is! Funny how many quickly want too snuff that out. No “ifs” please…as in..”if a black person had called a little white a girl a c…” because that did NOT happen here.
    PS it was NOT ”sexism”. Get off that bandwagon please folks, and stop trying to hijack things for that old agenda, This was an attack on an innocent child.

  17. What shocks me the most, as in makes me shake my head in dissappointment, is the fact that when that screen shot was taken, 516 other ignoartant fools, retweeted that. I’m with you on everything you stated in this post. A child…what a shame.

  18. I don’t believe every hurtful thing said about a non-white person is automatically racist. Nor do I believe anything The Onion said is to be taken seriously. You only need to read the rest of their twitter feed instead of removing this tweet from context and characterizing them by it. They are a satire site that saw a little girl who no one literally can say anything bad including myself and said something bad about her for the hell of it. I laughed when I read it. I laughed when Sam Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths said “Gandhi is wrong, its just no one has the balls to say it.”

    • Context is indeed very important. However is there a line that we cross in the pursuit of humour? It seems that what once shocked us and made us giggle no longer does it, so we stoop lower and lower.

      Absolutely the Onion is satire, but one does wonder if they crossed a line for decency here, even if it was to make their readers thing. What do you think?

      For the record I don’t necessarily see the sexism and racism in the tweet, however I do see why the tweet would offend people of specific demographics.

      • Lowbrow or not, comedy is art. And when you start structuring and putting constraints on art, it dies. I believe in freedom of expression. I am against censorship. Ultimately, a joke might not be funny, but the comedian deserves a chance to find that out for himself, not second guess himself and ending up throwing something brilliant because they are scared of what people are going to think. Louis CK is quite possibly the best comedian working today and he constantly says things like the N-word and the F-word (not fuck).

      • It really is an age old debate isn’t it? Freedom of expression and of speech and how it impacts others lives. In a case such as this, the Onion has exercised said right, yet in doing so have they trampled on the rights or at least the innocence of a young girl?

        I am not saying this is the case, I am however asking your opinion. I really am curious, as this is a debate that has grown exponentially since the advent of the internet. In fact it is at the root of every major governments decisions on how to moderate internet content.

        Freedom of speech verses the moral line and the impact on others way of life.

      • Its an age-old debate because people have a hard time understanding that whether they like what they hear or not, people have the right to say it. Everytime a comedian makes a joke at the expense of a celebrity, are they trampling the rights of that celebrity? Don’t think so. If a comedian chooses a random person in the audience to pick on, are they trampling the rights of the celebrity? Don’t think so. If a comedian makes fun of all people who wear glasses, are they trampling the rights of those people? Don’t think so.

      • I’ll wrap it up nicely. I find people who complain about the content of comedians to be more oppressive and bigger assholes than the comedians.

  19. I don’t watch the Oscars and I don’t tweet (I barely watch current movies because, geez, it’s so hard to find anything uplifting out there) but I think I’ve grasped the essentials of this unfortunate event.

    1. The Onion is satire. That is its core identity, the whole point of it. To search for any deeper meaning in there reminds me of the people who see Jesus in a potato chip.

    2. The Onion screwed the pooch on this one. They went too far by choosing that word. Sadly, their only clue was the backlash that ensued but we can hope that some sort of enduring education sunk in.

    3. Yes, it’s a child, a girl, and a person of color but that does not automatically conclude child abuse, misogyny, or racism. If it had been a white, male, middle-aged actor at the butt of the joke, the Onion still would have received backlash for that word.

    True, they would not have received AS MUCH backlash but here’s something to think about. When you are sensitized to an issue, you tend to see it everywhere. It is ripe, hot, and painful for you. Parents of young children will be more likely to accuse the Onion of child abuse, women who feel discriminated against in their life may “see” the misogyny in the joke, and people of color who feel judged for their appearance will probably grab hold of racism and shake it like a stick.

    I am none of those things, just a writer who finds the use of pejorative labels to be a sure sign of something being terribly wrong inside of the person using them. It’s lowbrow, unpleasant, and frankly, a lazy way to garner attention. The Onion doesn’t set the bar very high on those points but at least the twitter retraction reveals some sort of a willingness to listen.

  20. Dagbert put it eloquently. While the Onion obviously pushed this one past the boundaries of good taste, it is nonetheless sad when people don’t understand how satire works, and go off with a knee-jerk reaction because of certain buzz words which are taken out of context. Reminds me of the character “Emily Litella” that Gilda Radner played on Saturday Night Live. She would rant on and on about something she was obviously misunderstanding, and then when it was explained to her, she would shrug and say, “NEVER MIND!”

  21. It is important when discussing this incident that we consider the historical treatment of black women, their bodies, and their images in the United States. As stated in the post, black women have been regulated to the margins and placed in degrading categories (ie: mammy, welfare queen, jezebel). These categories serve as constraints preventing black women from entering spheres that illuminate their beauty, accomplishments, intelligence, and talent. To say that racism was not embedded in this tweet is to deny ways in which racism is maintained and perpetuated at not only the individual but the institutional level. To say that it was not racist is to be completely blind to the dichotomous relationship between black and white persons which positions anything outside of white American norms as deviant or other. It is this reason why such a filthy/derogatory word such as tweeted toward Quvenzhane Wallis and would NOT form the tiniest of utterances towards Dakota Fanning or Emma Watson.

    • I see your statements but we are in the 21st century…your view has more validation in a different era…there was no mention of her race or gender…our need to seek out opportunities to call racism is exactly why people’s views aren’t changing…this was not a case of racism…by any means

      • eroshyida…clearly thats what i said…my arguement is that her view on racism is outdated….you can’t say that everything negative said about somebody else is racist just because they are black or white or latino…thats just ludacris…in the older days, yes, maybe because it was that times….now…its just annoying

  22. I think that this was an absolutly horrible thing to say. In no way was this funny. I can see how you think racisim could be associated, but do not think that was the sole purpose. i think that the Onion was jealous of how talented and famous she is and wanted to steal some fame…

    • Aye, as with any controversial, violent or otherwise evil materials. These types of incidents often propel the wrong people to the spotlight.

      I believe that was the crux of many of the conversations regarding media overdoing school shootings and so on.\

      While not the intent. Often the more we highlight these things, the more reason (albeit perverse reason) we give to others to mimic it.

  23. Although I fail to see the racist part you mention, I see belittling of someone that is undeserving of such. Humor does not justify this or any kind of diminishing of anyone, even celebrities. It seems some people have the idea that they inner unhappiness and bitterness, entitles them to play with others and place them under a bad light, A light that others may follow. Isn’t this the reason white supremacy still exists?. Whether it is a case of homophobia, ethnicity, origin, partisan lineup, race, religion, whatever! “Being different” does not call to others to make a belittling campaign in their behave or others because what they ignore, do not approve or accept. This is a clear indication of how difficult our times of easy access mass media are. Just like the expose TV shows of the 80s, but worse. “Bad” news that become worse when someone with a public that follows them – exploits the underdog, even the winners.

  24. The Onion most certainly crossed several lines here, none of which we need to be reiterated in this comment. Likely the entire purpose of this tweet was to milk shock value. A base and putrid motive to be sure and one that frankly the Onion did not need to stoop to.

    Well we 100% emphatically disagree with this sort of senseless communication and this ongoing trend of attempting to shock people through the anonymity of the internet, i do have one question for the author of this article.

    What made this tweet racist and sexist?

    Absolutely it was beyond stupid, the epitome of ignorance, and disgusting in every right, but what about it is racist and sexist?

    This is an honest question, not goading anyone. Until I read this, I had no idea who this talented young lady was (little unplugged from the movie scene). As such I have very little context.

    It was a fail regardless of the context and will likely make some sort of a list in January 2014, of “2013’s worst tweets and social media moments”. It is a shame that individuals will continue to persist in crass, rude and often illiterate posts.

    Shameful indeed.

  25. OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe the Onion!! I used to love them, but that is TOO far!! I love her and I thought she was an amazing actress.. in fact, one of the most amazing I’ve seen to date! I cannot believe this… Thanks for posting.

    That was uncalled for

  26. I have to agree with most everyone else that’s posted… it was a horrible and inappropriate to say about anyone let alone a child, but I don’t think it was aimed at her because of her race or gender.. I think the Onion just made a horribly inappropriate joke and passed that invisible line that most of us know inherently not to cross. No one should ever say such things about a child.

  27. I’m just mystified at how a sexist slur can only be considered offensive as love as we pour it through a racism filter. Can we simply not care if something is “merely” sexist? We can only see offense against women as a group as long as we can hook it up to an certain ethnic group?

    A related question: do you truly think that white women never get called cunts? Seriously?

  28. You know, I have to just visit this concept again. If a disabled woman is called a cunt, is that ab ableist insult? If a lesbian is called a cunt is that homophobic. Jesus, is it so hard to see that there is a common “woman-ness” that is being insulted and that is fundamentally at the whole root of the insult? Can women see no common womanness here? IS there no common womanness? Is it racist/ableist/heterosexist even to SUGGEST that?

  29. I’m a little confused as to why you think she was being called a c*nt because she was black or female? Regardless, describing a 9 year old child of any sex or race in such a way is pretty unforgivable.

  30. It’s neither racist nor sexist. It is written with a high shock value in mind. While I dislike the word “cunt,” I don’t find it that inappropriate. It’s definitely not a very sophisticated joke, but it is what it is: a joke. Of course the person who wrote that joke doesn’t think she’s a cunt. Their downfall is not anticipating the sensitivity of the Internet.

  31. Pingback: The Idiocy of Racism: The Onion Calls Quvenzhane Wallis the C-Word | thedragonzeyeblog

  32. The joke was in extremely poor taste, but it was in no way racist. I think the problem was a lack of space on Twitter for the Onion to eloquently express what they wanted to say. But, instead of deleting the tweet and writing an article, the Onion made the mistaking of uploading the tweet by itself.

    I believe they were trying to joke that Quvenzhane Wallis was the only Oscar nominee about whom nothing bad could be said because of a combination of her age and her talent. So they called her the c-word because they meant it in a “Ha ha; she’s actually perfect so what we’re saying is funny because it’s not true.”

    This is why not every thought needs to become a tweet.

  33. What makes this worse is that this was written during black history month? Quvenzhane did nothing wrong to be called the c-word. That tweet was an intended joke but, find another word to satirize a child with. Seriously.

  34. I hate the c-word, and any other hate words for that matter. I can see kind of where the onion was going in bad taste, like, she’s only a 9 year old actress, she can’t possibly be a c-word, hey wouldn’t it be funny to call her a c-word? Like, calling an elephant skinny, an elephant is not skinny, hence ha, ha, skinny elephant. Thing is, c-word is never funny though. Can’t be funny. It is a horrible word. Degrades women and we have no word of equal value to call men. We could reclaim the word and start using it like some women use the b-word, like “That’s my b****”. I hope we don’t do that though. I use my fair share of foul language, but not like this.

  35. I can’t stand that word. The Onion is done to me. Really – she’s a 9-year-old child. Joke or not, my niece is nine and if anyone said that, I’d be ready to kill. Let the kid have her moment.

  36. It was edgy for the sake of edginess, something The Onion does frequently to purposefully enrage those uninformed about their fake-news. It wasn’t meant to be malicious, and it certainly wasn’t racist. At all. They don’t think she’s actually a cunt. It was more to subvert the typical love and adoration of an innocent child and make dark humor out of it. And to piss the easily offended off, too.

  37. Many have already said this but I’ll reiterate it. How is this racist? Have you ever read The Onion? I’m not a subscriber and I barely read it. But you have to understand how these people get their views. Shock-and-awe, also very clever articles. What I have seen by them has not led me to believe that they are racist or even sexist. You’re looking for something that isn’t there…

    I’m not a fan of the tweet though. To call a little girl a cunt, even though she most likely will not see it, was too far.

  38. Great post. The Onion is not even close to being funny. She is a beautiful nine year old girl!! A little girl ! I can’t wait to show my daughter Ruby a picture of Quvenzhane tomorrow when she wakes up. They look very alike, except Rubes has got much higher hair 🙂

  39. There would be a lot of people around here who would insist that it was just a joke and that we need to relax and not take things so seriously, that it’s satire etc. etc. I call such people assholes. Plain and simple. There is just no way that calling a 9 year old child, cunt, can be funny.

    Along with the Seth McFarlene’s blatant sexist nonsense, I say this year’s Oscars were an epic FAIL.

  40. It is funny how the people suggesting that the tweet was not racist are all white. I agree that the C word was horrible but also, it was very racist. Let me ask, how come all the other white child stars have never been anything but cute? No one ever dared to call them the C word, but just because a little girl is famous and black, she becomes that! Atrocious and Racist. White racists should go hang!

    • Guaranteed if a white 9 year old was in her place, there’d be either the same tweet or something similar. The whole point was to subvert everyone’s adoration of her because she’s a cute little girl with dark and offensive humor. Whether or not it was in good tastes is anyone’s judgement, I just wouldn’t say race was a factor.

    • a. The Onion is satire, so they could have just as well called a white girl the same thing (because they were really implyling that she was anything but.
      b. As justkeepbreathing said, racism can be between any races, white to black, black to white, black to Asian, Asian to purple, doesn’t matter.
      c. The word was inappropriate and appalling to use on a little girl, no matter what race, but I don’t believe it was meant to be as insensitive as it was. History shows that the Onion tends not to care what people think about their more risque’ jokes, but they certainly cared about this one.
      d. I am mixed race, and do not find this racist at all. I find it more disgusting when people claim racism on something that isn’t: I feel that it tends to take on a “cry-wolf” mentality when actual racism occurs.

  41. Actually cannot believe that – it would be easy to say that Twitter should have some sort of word regulation however that would most likely ban most people from tweeting. However seeing something like this surely it would have been flagged up and deleted completely.

    The fact that a child is the subject of such disgusting behaviour from ‘America’s Finest News Source’ really makes me think why the heck are they allowed to even publish anything at all!

    Great post on highlighting the issue and beautiful blog – congrats on the FP 😀

  42. I think the comment was a bit much, given her age, however I think it would be misconstrued to consider this racist or sexist.

    My understanding of the joke is that it is caliing out Quvenzhane for being incredibly precocious. I have read many comments that people thought she suffers from the acting-older-than-her-age syndrome that actors like Dakota Fanning and Hayley Joel Osmond were given flack for.

    To jump straight to the sexist or racist cards is a real cop-out, and kind of bigoted as well as you are assuming that the only possible thing that she could be criticized for is her race or her sex. Whether its true or not, it’s about her as a person. Lets not be reductive here and go for the easy complaint.

    • I guess you can argue whether it’s racist – I happen to think it is. But whether it’s sexist? Seriously?
      There are no circumstances under which this is a criticism of her as a person – this tweet is not a criticism of her as a person. It is a crude sexual comment about a women, in this case a child.
      If they wanted to criticize her as a person, they could say she was obnoxious, or not that talented – whatever. This comment was the fastest way to reduce a girl to the parts of her which makes her female.

  43. I think it was inappropriate and highly offensive. I am appalled that ANYONE would have thought it was a good idea to tweet something so horrible. However, I’m not seeing it as a racial issue.

  44. Yes, I think if not consciously, at a subconscious level it was racist and sexist – I think a trigger set off in the mind of the tweeter saying here’s a young black successful girl and if she continues to succeed, the world is going to continue to change from that dominated by white males, and that scared them.
    Apart from that, it’s just disgusting, I don’t think you should make a joke about someone who won’t understand the joke – I certainly wouldn’t understand that when I was nine!

  45. Shani, thanks for bringing this to light as I had not heard this story. The Onion has abused it’s power. This tweet is the worst I have seen because it’s directed at a child. And I thought we quit using the C-word?!? I have always hated that word.

    Also, I believe it is not only sexist as it is directed toward a female but it’s racism that is the source. White Privilege gives the license to say it. The author of the tweet never worried about the outcome of this statement because it was said about a minority. From Shirley Temple to JonBenet Ramsey there have been many opportunities to use the C-word toward little White girls, yet we have not seen or heard it. I’m glad we haven’t, but the point is clear: Until minorities become the majority (and it’s comin) WP will always give confidence to ignorance of this kind. Thanks again Shani!

  46. Sadly, I think the Onion person who wrote it needs to ask if he would have done the same thing, say to a younger version of D. Fanning. Often it’s trip-ups like these that reveal more of ourselves…..TO ourselves.

  47. Calling someone the c-word isn’t much of a joke to begin with. I think the Onion was running short on jokes to make and ended up crossing a huge boundary. I mean of read some of their posts yesterday throughout the site, and I was shocked that some of them were actually a little inappropriate – not that I was offended by any of it. So I guess maybe this was a wake up call for them to tow the line? It sucks that it had to happen to Quvenzhane at such a monumental moment in her life (being at the Oscars).

  48. Not sure what your point is, but a dog murdering someone and a child murdering someone is still murder. No matter what the gender or sex of the tweeter, the tweet was still disgusting.

    Go deeper. The tweeter assumed that the majority of America wouldn’t be bothered by it. Since the U.S. is still majority European the assumption is that the tweet would pass.

    I have a better question: Why is it that those who have not experienced the majority of the racism, but have benefited from it always attempt to define it or identify it? You are definitely entitled to your own opinion, but like mine it’s just that an opinion. I think if you do a little research on racism or White Privilege you’ll be shock at what you find. WP doesn’t mean all White people area racist, but it will give you a more educated perspective on matters or race and cultural diversity.

    Saying whether something is racist or not is like ruling whether rape was the woman’s fault or not. And I don’t ever believe that rape is a woman’s fault!

  49. I think that we should simply redefine the word “cunt” to mean something beautiful and capable, as our vaginas are (they are pink and soft, and they give birth). Then it will fit Quevenzhane just fine, because she is a beautiful, capable, and talented actress.

  50. She is such a cute little girl. How can someone call her cunt. Actually the fact is that few morons are just jealous of success of others & that too when the successful one is a little girl.

  51. Whoever put up that tweet is probably out of a job by now! It was tasteless, sexist, and abusive (for want of a better word to describe using such an offensive word towards a child). Who knows,the “twitter” for The Onion whether man or woman probably has pedophilic tendencies for him/her to use the C word on a child.

  52. The actual author of the tweet hasn’t been identified, right? I mean, a guy from The Onion apologized on behalf of The Onion, but we don’t know if the person who actually wrote the comment was a white man. So it may not be racist, or sexist. Unless the racism exists purely in our own heads for assuming only white men work at The Onion.

  53. Lol, I beg to differ. By all rationality what is the measure by which you’ve taken to judge this tweet as unapologetic on the basis that it was directed to her for being a woman and black? That’s pretty racist to begin with to ask me. Cunt is actually the choice of the word that is being flaunted at the crowd for its sure to break-all-hell-loose reaction, get with the program.

  54. Color. Was. Never. Mentioned.

    You can sound as inflamed as you want to regarding the use of “cunt”, but to stretch your outrage into race is simply fictitious. If was meant to be shocking, to cause discussion and debate- and it did.

    Was it the attention they wanted? No.
    Was it funny? No.

    To assume that the comment was racist or misogynistic is knee-jerk at best. It wasnt funny, the end- and in the wise words of Ricky Gervais

    “Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

    If you want to write about being offended, that’s great. Making up things about what offended you makes you sound like a cunt.

  55. Honestly not racist – crude and offensive certainly, misogynistic perhaps. That was the point though; actually what they were doing was satirising this sort of puerile fratboy humour – here we call it ‘banter’ – that’s inexplicably still popular. Unfortunately they aped it so well that their tweet was indistinguishable from the genuine article.

    Plus side they apologised for it, and seem genuine about it.

    Dude above (artistapart) seems like a real charmer…

  56. To go along with the idea that any of us are fundamentally different from one another because of the shade of our skin or the size of our nose or any other physical characteristic is to buy into the ugly and erroneous concept of racism as it was manufactured by the slave traders lo these many years ago. We are all inextricably linked with one another because we all come from the same source, and the commonality of the human experience should trump any false concepts that lead to racism in the first place. But buying into an erroneous concept has its advantages if one gets some kind of payoff from playing the victim. At that point, you are USING racism to further your own agenda, and that is tacit acceptance of it as something that works for your benefit.

  57. I find the comment as being sexist and ignorant. Something a child would say if they were not brought up to know better. Hope this fella is enjoying his or her moment of comedic controversy. Not cute when a kid does this, and worst when a full grown adult does it.

  58. One fact that I love so much about God is that He blesses whoever He chooses to bless without seeking for the opinion or approval of man. I am not too sure of the motive behind the tweet ; but the fact is that racists are obviously not of God because God does not discriminate at all. To superstar Miss Wallis, I say congratulations. Wishing you the best…..

  59. Reblogged this on Welcome to Michael Monday's blog and commented:
    The world is filled with all sorts of people – people who love you, haters, people who are jealous over your success, people who celebrate your success, people who just like saying trash without thinking, people who are objective in their reasoning……all sorts of people. So when “NEGATIVE PEOPLE” come your way, do not give them the joy of allowing their negativity to to meke you lose focus. Stay focused and and move on cos they would be very happy to see you lose focus…don’t give them that joy. – Michael Monday

  60. The world is filled with all sorts of people – people who love you, haters, people who are jealous over your success, people who celebrate your success, people who just like saying trash without thinking, people who are objective in their reasoning……all sorts of people. So when “NEGATIVE PEOPLE” come your way, do not give them the joy of allowing their negativity to to make you lose focus. Stay focused and and move on cos they would be very happy to see you do those things that will make you go down…..don’t give them that joy. – Michael Monday

  61. Well written piece. Glad you shared. More need to be aware of this disgusting example of ignorance in motion from a social “machine mentality” that appears to be running rampant among compassionless minds on ice cold internet sites everywhere. We need Emily Post back… at the very least. Love really is all there is. Ask any dead person.

  62. this is just shocking considering that the onion is a professional company and that fact that they would say something like that is just sickening and idiotic at the same time.

  63. Yeah, cunt isn’t a racist term, and frankly I’m not really against using it on an adult. But on a child it’s beyond tasteless, it’s disgusting. They should have known better. My guess is that they were losing viewers and needed a shock value tweet to bring in the trolls and knights who will undoubtedly bicker for months over the insensitivity of the statement. And it probably worked.

  64. You, like too many others in our society use the word racist and have absolutely no idea what it’s definition is. What exactly did the Onion say that was racist? Nothing. Not one mention of anyone’s color yet you immediately pull the race card because someone said something stupid about a black person. So what? Calling a black female a cunt has nothing to do with what color she is nor did the Onion say that one race is superior over hers. You people need to get that chip off your black shoulders and move on with your lives. Learn to use words properly and educate yourself in their true definition. You come across as being rather ignorant to say the least. Thanks to people like you, the word racist no longer means anything. It’s a word that has been twisted into a word used to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Do yourself a really big favor and go buy a damn dictionary.

    • J Roycroft, you are the epitome of Amerikkka’s so-called “Post Racial” bigot.I am certain that you are NOT a racist simply because no one with your patently obvious limited intelligence in today’s world can acquire the means to adversely affect the lives and likelihoods of the people of color you despise either economically, politically, legally, or otherwise. On the other-hand, all it takes to be a bigot is ignorance and based on your post ignorance is something you have in abundance.. And who are you calling “You people”? I see you are a Reagan fan. As for chips on black shoulders, I’d give anything to see you or any punk-a$$ neo-confederate like you try and knock the chips on my shoulders off. On second thought, you cowardly trolls better stick to picking on 9 year old black girls if you know what’s good for ya. BTW, you are posting on what George W. Bush labeled the Internets A$$hole, why are you suggesting that black folks buy dictionaries. Don’t you know there are dozens of free dictionaries online dip-$hit? Lastly, as long as there are white supremacist minded idiots in the world, the word racist will never lose it’s meaning and relevance.

  65. I don’t think that this particular tweet is unusual for the twats at the Onion. 99% of their jokes are amateurishly unfunny, and it is astonishing that so many people working full time can produce so little material of any value. Any writer on the Daily Show or the Bill Maher Show produces more funny jokes in 30 minutes than the entire stable of Onion “writers” in 30 months.

  66. I spend my days writing about (and railing against) racism, It was a tasteless, appalling attempt at humour. But I don’t accept it wasn’t racially based. If she’d been called a black c**t, fair enough. But race never came into it… until this blog (which I admire, but think over-reached).

  67. I actually did think she was kind of annoying, but only because fist pumping irks me. So, I push down my disdain for the hand movement and remind myself it’s kind of unfair to dislike people because of it haha. But even if I do find her fist pumps irritating, would I call her a ‘cunt’? ….No. Not liking fist pumping is MY problem, not hers. Her body movements don’t define her, and neither do I. If someone annoys you, it’s YOUR problem, especially when it’s someone who you’ll never meet.
    Also, she’s 9! Everyone is annoying in some way at 9! It’s an awkward age where you think you’re being cool but you’re probably not actually being cool at all. I hope she didn’t see the tweet, because it makes that awkward stage where you’re trying to be you (whoever you are) and be accepted and liked that much harder when someone points out they don’t like you.

    Racist though? I didn’t see it that way 🙂

  68. I hate blacks who constantly play the rasism card, same goes for women who want equality but act like anything we do is sexist yet they can do whatever the fuck they want. This statement was far from rasist or sexist the writer is just a fem nazi

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