Last night during the Oscars, someone manning the twitter account of satirical website The Onion thought that it would be funny to call 9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis a derogatory term [see above]. Yes you read that correctly. Somewhere, someone who I’m assuming is an adult, thought that it would be hilarious to reference this young lady who was having the biggest night of her life as a word for the female genitalia.
In today’s age where we constantly reference cyber-bullying, The Onion has done just that. I know that somewhere there is someone saying, lighten up, it’s only a joke. The question has to become when is it ever acceptable to ridicule a child in private, better yet on a platform where you have 4.7 million eyeballs watching what you say.
I was alarmed to see this news when I awoke this morning but pleased to see that people are outraged. I was happy to see the response to The Onion on Twitter was not pleasant, and that a petition has been started on Change.org as well. These people were of all ages, all colors, and from all backgrounds of life. But the common thread among them all was that they think that this crossed the line. And who defines that line? Hopefully, we do!
The tweet has since been deleted but we demand a real response. And that response needs to come in the form of a public apology to the young Ms. Wallis at the least and accountability from the person who sent the tweet. While the person behind The Onion’s Twitter account may be snarky in their opinion here are several things that they are not:
- An advocate for children
- Aware of the real power of social media (but will soon find out)
- Employed (Wishful Thinking)
If we don’t stand for the youngest among us who will we stand for?
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