published Monday, February 25th, 2013

The Onion apologizes for offensive actress tweet

  • photo
    Actress Quvenzhane Wallis arrives at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Onion is apologizing for calling the 9-year-old star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” a vulgar and offensive name on Twitter, an attack that led to a firestorm online.

The satirical website on Sunday referred to Quvenzhane Wallis with an expletive intended to denigrate women. The Onion was lambasted overnight and asked for forgiveness Monday.

“It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting,” The Onion CEO Steve Hannah wrote on Facebook. “No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.”

Hannah said the offensive tweet was taken down within an hour and the newspaper has “instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures” to ensure it will never happen again. Those responsible would be disciplined, he added.

“Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.”

A message sent to Quvenzhane’s representative seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned Monday.

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