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(Facebook)   The Onion decides that the line between "funny" and "Even Seth MacFarlane thought it wasn't funny" is calling a nine-year-old girl a c*nt   (facebook.com) divider line 187
    More: Followup, Seth MacFarlane, The Onion, onions  
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8399 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 25 Feb 2013 at 2:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-25 11:56:45 AM  
From Facebook:

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.

Sincerely,

Steve Hannah
CEO
The Onion
 
2013-02-25 11:59:46 AM  
So if we wait about 9 years, it'll be a-okay then?
 
2013-02-25 12:11:09 PM  
Well it's good to have standards.
 
2013-02-25 12:44:31 PM  
Who cares, words are just words. They only have the power you impart to them and it makes no sense to me to keep making it the BIG BAD of words.
 
2013-02-25 12:47:33 PM  
Why are people expecting tact and restraint from the Onion?
 
2013-02-25 12:48:33 PM  
skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

/have no idea who she is; didn't pay attention to the oscars at all.
 
2013-02-25 12:48:57 PM  
I thought it was funny.
 
2013-02-25 12:50:10 PM  
Taking The Onion's talents for prediction into account, I'm now worried about Wallis's future.
 
2013-02-25 12:50:56 PM  

milsorgen: Who cares, words are just words. They only have the power you impart to them and it makes no sense to me to keep making it the BIG BAD of words.


Says the guy who doesn't want to stop treating the people in his life horribly.
 
2013-02-25 12:59:04 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: milsorgen: Who cares, words are just words. They only have the power you impart to them and it makes no sense to me to keep making it the BIG BAD of words.

Says the guy who doesn't want to stop treating the people in his life horribly.


But it doesn't count as treating them horribly if he didn't mean it as horrible. You're just being sensitive.

I bet you don't even call your mom a coont when she says she loves you. How disappointing.
 
2013-02-25 01:06:28 PM  

the801: skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

/have no idea who she is; didn't pay attention to the oscars at all.


I can kind of understand the joke they were trying to make.  It's right up there with "Mr. Roger's dreams of burying hookers in the desert."

But, they fell flat on their faces this time.  And, that's what happens when you just try too hard.
 
2013-02-25 01:13:30 PM  
I love that some people are saying things like "There's an apology, but it's too little, too late."

The tweet went up late Sunday night, came down an hour later, and the apology -- a real one, not "sorry you were offended" -- was online before lunch on Monday.

That's lightning fast.
 
2013-02-25 01:26:21 PM  
So, I made a little comment there about how this was also satirical and that Steve Hannah is a fake name. Some guy copied and pasted the names from the staff page of The Onion and called me an idiot.
 
2013-02-25 01:36:33 PM  
I can't decide if I thought it was funny or not.
 
2013-02-25 01:37:24 PM  

Vodka Zombie: the801: skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

/have no idea who she is; didn't pay attention to the oscars at all.

I can kind of understand the joke they were trying to make.  It's right up there with "Mr. Roger's dreams of burying hookers in the desert."

But, they fell flat on their faces this time.  And, that's what happens when you just try too hard.


The spirit of the joke was funny and typical Onion. The choice of that particular word for a nine year old was wrong.
 
2013-02-25 01:42:19 PM  
"Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a c*** horrible name to give a child."

FTFTheOnion.
 
2013-02-25 01:44:22 PM  

catmandu: Vodka Zombie: the801: skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

/have no idea who she is; didn't pay attention to the oscars at all.

I can kind of understand the joke they were trying to make.  It's right up there with "Mr. Roger's dreams of burying hookers in the desert."

But, they fell flat on their faces this time.  And, that's what happens when you just try too hard.

The spirit of the joke was funny and typical Onion. The choice of that particular word for a nine year old was wrong.


so, biatch or ho?
 
2013-02-25 01:49:51 PM  
Alright, who's next? [ image appears ] Oh, it's 9-year old Quvenzhané Wallis.  You think you can beat me?! "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Wallis?" Also: The Alphabet called; they want theirletters back. Ka-bam!

Jennifer Lawrence, SNL Opening Monologue
 
2013-02-25 01:53:30 PM  

SpikeStrip: catmandu: Vodka Zombie: the801: skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

The spirit of the joke was funny and typical Onion. The choice of that particular word for a nine year old was wrong.

so, biatch or ho?


biatch
 
2013-02-25 01:55:15 PM  
To all the people who are all butthurt over The Onion calling Quvenzhané Wallis a horrible name: You embody The Onion's slogan, "Tu Stultus Es." Or, in English, "You Are Dumb."

Please don't misunderstand...I'm not defending them. What they did was in poor taste, no doubt about it. It crossed the line, for sure. But lest we forget - at its best, satire is supposed to do one thing. And that is: hold a mirror up to society, and show it where its warts are. And in calling the least-offensive person on the red carpet (a charming, poised, adorable, talented, and universally-praised 9-year-old) the MOST offensive word that exists, what The Onion was TRYING to do was to make us think.

How often do we dismiss some celebrities as being "bad people" without even knowing them? I know some people who claim to not be able to stand Anne Hathaway, or Taylor Swift, or who will not see anything Gwyneth Paltrow does, because they say they "hate" them. Many actresses in particular seem to suffer this kind of stigma. We just judge them so easily. Certain public figures just rub us the wrong way, and that's fine...If irrational, and often misguided.

Pointing that out was all The Onion was trying to do. To ask us to consider why we harbor weird prejudices against certain people we don't even know. By calling a beloved young talent by a nasty slur, the goal was the same as if they'd said, "Is it just us, or is Tom Hanks a piece of shiat?"

So, yes...What they did was ill-advised, and designed for maximum shock value. As such, feel free to lambaste them if you must. But for fark's sake...At least do it for the right reasons. Not because you were too thick to comprehend the impetus of their intent.
 
2013-02-25 01:55:53 PM  

Shostie: Why are people expecting tact and restraint from the Onion?


Actually, good satire uses quite a bit of restraint.  The Onion is great because of the line it straddles.
 
2013-02-25 01:57:14 PM  
FFS Fark how about linking to something that has the actual offending tweet on it so people don't have to google it themselves?

http://www.heavy.com/regions/2013/02/onion-calls-9-year-old-coont-twe et -oscar-nominee-tweet/

Not cool, Onion.

Seriously, that aint satire by any stretch of anyone's imagination.

That's just farking mean-spirited dreck and you were correct to scrub it off the net and apologize.

Got that much right anyways.
 
2013-02-25 02:00:49 PM  

yanceylebeef: I thought it was funny.


I did too. I guess we're just two crass jerks. Or some other people don't understand that the Onion was not actually calling her a coont but was instead making fun of Seth McFarlane.
 
2013-02-25 02:01:39 PM  
So that little girl gets a free pass for being a c*nt just because she's young?
 
2013-02-25 02:05:16 PM  

Diogenes: So that little girl gets a free pass for being a c*nt just because she's young?


Actually, if what I'm reading in my Tumblr feed is representative, it's because she's black and that The Onion would never dream of calling Dakota Fanning the C-word.

/JUST THE MESSENGER HERE
 
2013-02-25 02:08:30 PM  

FishyFred: Diogenes: So that little girl gets a free pass for being a c*nt just because she's young?

The Onion would never dream of calling Dakota Fanning the C-word.


albeit a  legal coont.
 
2013-02-25 02:09:07 PM  

FishyFred: Diogenes: So that little girl gets a free pass for being a c*nt just because she's young?

Actually, if what I'm reading in my Tumblr feed is representative, it's because she's black and that The Onion would never dream of calling Dakota Fanning the C-word.

/JUST THE MESSENGER HERE


Oh, I'm sure that has quite a bit to do with it.  I was trying to make light of it in general.
 
2013-02-25 02:09:33 PM  

Lando Lincoln: yanceylebeef: I thought it was funny.

I did too. I guess we're just two crass jerks. Or some other people don't understand that the Onion was not actually calling her a coont but was instead making fun of Seth McFarlane.


[quizzicaldog]

Seth said... "To give you an idea how young she is it'll be 16 years before she's too old for Clooney."

That's a joke.

What the Onion said was not a joke and then went well over the line and just kept going.

You're just making excuses and trying to look edgy hipsters.

"Crass jerks" comes a lot closer to the truth.
 
2013-02-25 02:10:14 PM  
Children should be at least 10 before tossed into the Hollywood 'meat grinder'.

She shouldn't be subjected to that sort of language and name calling, not in Hollywood.  Nope.

Should that sort of thing be encouraged?  No.  Yet, I've no doubt that she's already been subjected to much worse.
 
2013-02-25 02:10:33 PM  
I thought it was funny. Its satire, and it was making fun of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, not the girl.
 
2013-02-25 02:12:37 PM  
The onion should stand by their comment.  I hope in a few years they have a new story that says "See!!? We told you so!"
 
2013-02-25 02:15:00 PM  

Diogenes: Alright, who's next? [ image appears ] Oh, it's 9-year old Quvenzhané Wallis.  You think you can beat me?! "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Wallis?" Also: The Alphabet called; they want theirletters back. Ka-bam!

Jennifer Lawrence, SNL Opening Monologue


You're forgetting that nobody watches SNL.
 
2013-02-25 02:17:23 PM  
quatchi:

Seth said... "To give you an idea how young she is it'll be 16 years before she's too old for Clooney."

That's a joke.


You're drawing a pretty fine line there.  What some people find funny, others may not.
 
2013-02-25 02:17:26 PM  
Pussy. Drew Barrymore was doing 8-balls at her age
 
2013-02-25 02:17:33 PM  
Number of comments on the TFA that it took for before someone tied this to Obama:  29.
 
2013-02-25 02:17:42 PM  

vernonFL: I thought it was funny. Its satire, and it was making fun of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, not the girl.


I get it, and I understood it to be exactly this. Or at least, that was their intent.

That said... they stepped waaaaaayyyy over a line here. Then they realized it. Then they apologized.

The end.
 
2013-02-25 02:18:41 PM  
They were only saying what John McCain was thinking.
 
2013-02-25 02:20:33 PM  
Meh, it's just parodying the essence of the nasty film industry. But I'm sure we'll get the President talking about how 'if he had a third daughter she'd look like....' Americans are still racist...., etc. etc. ad infinitum. reductio ad absurdum.
 
2013-02-25 02:21:03 PM  

vernonFL: I thought it was funny. Its satire, and it was making fun of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, not the girl.


All by itself, without context, it's offensive.  Satire requires context.
 
2013-02-25 02:21:04 PM  

Diogenes: So that little girl gets a free pass for being a c*nt just because she's young?


I've got dibs on the 2023 headline followup: "The Onion was right".
 
2013-02-25 02:21:08 PM  

Donnchadha: Diogenes: Alright, who's next? [ image appears ] Oh, it's 9-year old Quvenzhané Wallis.  You think you can beat me?! "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Wallis?" Also: The Alphabet called; they want theirletters back. Ka-bam!

Jennifer Lawrence, SNL Opening Monologue

You're forgetting that nobody watches SNL.


That's why I quoted instead of merely mentioning ;-)

But to be serious for a second, the whole monologue was about her "I beat Meryl" comment at the Golden Globes.  She took shots at all her Oscar challengers, but punctuated each with a nice compliment.

Extreme contrast and misdirection are common tools in a humorist's shed.  Whoever posted that used a risky medium in which to employ extreme contrast.  Twitter gives you no room to provide a context, or followup/correction (for when a joke goes wrong).
 
2013-02-25 02:21:22 PM  
Personally, calling a kid a coot is so over the top as to be funny to me.  Saying that George Clooney farks girls a few years older than her is just stating a fact, and is more creepy than funny.  But that's just me.
 
2013-02-25 02:21:53 PM  

the801: skimmed like 4 articles about this and saw nothing even hinting of an explanation as to what caused someone to think she's a coont. i have to imagine that she said or did something or was in some way coontish for anyone to have mentioned it.

/have no idea who she is; didn't pay attention to the oscars at all.


Is this post satire too?

I mean, if not, this analysis thoroughly and completely misses the point of the "joke".

No, she didn't do anything "coontish".  She did absolutely nothing that wasn't adorable and 9-year-old-child-like ... which is the very punchline of the joke.
 
2013-02-25 02:22:04 PM  
So, is the Oscars no longer a Hollywood self congratulatory wank fest, and now just a contest for journalists to say "I got butthurt by this!"

Journalist 2: "Well, I got MORE butthurt by that!"

Journalist 3: "No, I got the MOST butthurt by that!"

Seriously, we now live in a world where THE ONION is issuing apologies.
 
2013-02-25 02:22:43 PM  
This kind of humor is tricky.

When it works, it's because what was being said was so outrageous that the audience is in on the joke. The humor is that both parties realize that what was said was ridiculous.

Unfortunately, at 140 characters of text, and given the usual expectations for Twitter, the joke doesn't come across as anything more than a mean insult.  Which means that it fell flat and instead of having a nice little meta-joke about offensive jokes, we just have something that looks like an offensive joke.

Ultimately, I think that it's a case of no real harm done. The Onion took a swing, recognized they had a miss, scrubbed the joke and issued and actually contrite apology.

At this point, the only people who are shouting are a) people who go out of their way to be offended and b) people who think that self-censorship is a traitorous violation of the 1st Amendment. Which is to say, in both cases, a whole bunch of stupid c%nts.
 
2013-02-25 02:23:34 PM  
I do believe this is the first rescinding the Onion's done since the time they took down that article about bear rape.
 
2013-02-25 02:23:37 PM  
I guess the closest historic precedent to this is when they called Shirley Temple Curly Top.
 
2013-02-25 02:24:10 PM  

milsorgen: Who cares, words are just words. They only have the power you impart to them and it makes no sense to me to keep making it the BIG BAD of words.


You should go read the "tard" thread on the Main tab.
 
2013-02-25 02:25:44 PM  

enik: But I'm sure we'll get the President talking about how 'if he had a third daughter she'd look like....


I heard that the President DOES have a seekrit thrid mooslim kenyan daughter.   They are keeping her out of the news because she is a lesbian.
 
2013-02-25 02:26:12 PM  
I'm pretty humourless on a Monday so I can't offer an opinion.
Even my own loud flatulence isn't making me smile today.
 
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