Target: Will Tracy, editor of The Onion
Goal: Issue formal apology for leveling misogynistic slur against 9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis
Famous satire publication The Onion cut too deep in its latest misguided attempt at humor. During coverage of the 85th Academy Awards, the newspaper tweeted a hateful slur from its official Twitter account. The tweet took aim at 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who had been nominated for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. It read: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*nt, right? #Oscars2013”. After approximately an hour, The Onion deleted the tweet without comment. Urge the editor of the publication to issue a formal apology for the paper’s reckless use of hateful language.
Young women and girls—especially women and girls of color—already face scrutiny and discrimination on a daily basis. Women in the media spotlight are especially vulnerable to hateful comments and criticisms on their looks and behavior. At just 9 years of age, Quvenzhané Wallis is already learning that the world can be a frightening place for girls and women of color. Even before Oscar night, she was subjected to unfair taunting from members of the media due to her name. Now, The Onion has cemented the idea that the world of entertainment is a harsh one for girls of color–even those as young as 9 years old.
Satirical publications like The Onion should be doing their part to break down the structures of power that prevent girls like Wallis from succeeding in the entertainment industry. Instead, The Onion has only reinforced them. Demand an apology from the newspaper and urge its editor to exercise more sensitivity in future event coverage.
Dear Will Tracy,
Recently, The Onion published a horrendous tweet on its official Twitter feed. Commenting on the coverage of the 2013 Academy Awards, the tweet read: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*nt, right?” While your publication may be famous for pushing the boundaries on appropriate commentary, this tweet has gone too far.
Young women and girls like Quvenzhané Wallis face constant discrimination and hatred due to their names, appearances, and backgrounds. The entertainment industry is already an unfriendly place for girls of color. Wallis’s performance, nomination, and attendance at the Oscars prove her bravery in the face of harsh odds. By launching a derogatory slur at her in public, you have attempted to cut down all she has accomplished.
The Onion has since deleted the offending tweet, but no official apology has been made. I urge you to consider the implications of this misguided joke and issue a formal apology immediately.
[Your Name Here]