The satirical website The Onion is under fire for a vulgar tweet aimed at pint-sized Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.
The 9-year-old has drawn wide praise for her acting talent, including an Academy Award nomination for best actress. On Sunday, an anonymous writer at The Onion made fun of all the attention she’s received, but in the minds of some readers, went too far.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a vulgar tweet about Wallis was posted to the site’s official Twitter account at around 8:42 p.m., drawing about 500 “likes” but also a flood of criticism. In it, the writer stated that “everyone else seems afraid to say it,” and then called Wallis an unprintable name.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
There was outcry, with many calling out its inappropriateness and cheap dig. Treme and The Wire actor Wendell Pierce called out The Onion, tweeting: “Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous.”
Wrote Yahoo! Canada’s Greg Hughes: “The Onion made a pretty significant faux pas tonight on Quvenzhane Wallis. They deleted the tweet, but the Internet doesn’t ever forget.”
The tweet was deleted about an hour after it was posted, although several sites saved a screen capture.
This isn’t Wallis’ first brush with the ugly side of fame. Even before Sunday’s telecast, The Hollywood Reporter (via Shadow and Act) published an anonymous Academy Awards voter dissing the pint sized actress for her name, and her “sweet but immature” performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
TheGrio will update this story as it develops.