9-Year-Old Quvenzhane Wallis Didn't Deserve Most Offensive Comment of the Oscars

Rant 20

Quvenzhane WallisQuvenzhane Wallis was quite a precocious fireball at the Oscars last night. You can really see the same spirit in real life that she displayed in her nominated role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. That doesn't make her a c**t though. Humor site The Onion caused outrage last night when it tweeted:

Everyone seems afraid to say it but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a c**t, right?

Yes, yes, I get it. It's dark, edgy humor. Blah blah. But this is a 9-year-old girl we're talking about.

Twitter went so nuts about the offensive tweet that The Onion, which normally doesn't care who it offends, actually removed it. The Onion has produced some of my most favorite satire over the years -- and much of it isn't for the feint of heart. One of my favorite pieces is an old one called "Ugly Girl Killed," which makes fun of the public's and media's obsession with cute murdered girls like JonBenet Ramsey. (This was written before Caylee Anthony.) You could take offense at the joke -- or look in the mirror.

For edgy humor to work, there has to be some small element of truth to it. Ideally, it should say what many of us are thinking but are afraid to say.

But I don't think anyone was thinking Quvenzhane was a "c**t." So maybe THAT was the jist of the joke. Who would ever think that word about a sweet little girl carrying her puppy purse? The setup to the punchline: "Everyone seems to be afraid to say it ... " indicates this was probably what the writer was going for -- saying the opposite of what "everyone" is thinking. (If this was said about a sickly sweet star like, say, Shirley Temple, it would be just as shocking, but somewhat funnier.)

But the joke was uncalled for. This is a 9-year-old girl who is enjoying her big moment. Her mother and sister were with her. The joke wasn't funny enough, nor did it make enough of a statement, to warrant its offensiveness.

And apparently The Onion must have agreed, for it took it down. Hey, some jokes fall flat. Ask Seth MacFarlane.

What do you think of this joke?


Image via SplashNews

award shows, oscars