This past Sunday, Hollywood invited us to tune into one of their most coveted events. Surprisingly, the Academy Awards had a few bumps throughout its 3.5-hour run with the inarguably talented Seth McFarlane. McFarlane is an American voice actor, animator, screenwriter, comedian, producer and he’s highly offensive.
Insulting women, Jews and many of the present stars in between, Seth McFarlane left his mark as a controversial host. But my question is: What exactly did you expect from the creator of Family Guy? Family Guy being a dark comedic cartoon drawn from the inspiration of The Simpsons and All in the Family, which was also a provocative sitcom in it’s own era.
From a marketing aspect he was clearly chosen to bring in a younger audience, check. This was my first time not only watching, but finishing an Oscars run. According to The New York Times: “The show drew an average audience of 40.3 million viewers, up about 3 percent from 39.3 million viewers last year, according to the Nielsen ratings service. The audience among those between the ages of 18 and 34 grew 20 percent, to post an 11.3 rating, compared to 9.4 last year, when Billy Crystal was the host.”
Honestly, I think Seth did his job. He left a lasting impression while making fun of the aloof world that is Hollywood. Whether you enjoyed his jokes or not, artists who leave legacies usually step on a few toes along the way. You would think a room full of actors, producers, writers and creative minds of all sorts would understand that.
However, in an alternate universe known as the Twitterspere, there was a similar set of problems tied to the award show. The Onion, an infamous newspaper and website filled with satirical articles, managed to outdo Mr. McFarlane himself. The Onion unwarrantedly disrespected Quvenzhané Wallis, the nine-year-old Oscar nominated actress who starred in “Beast of the Southern Wild” by calling her a highly derogatory word.
How an innocent, defenseless third grader, who probably had no clue she would ever be up past her bedtime at the Oscar’s became the target of a national publication with more than four million followers is beyond me. Why was she on their hit-list? And what made her a [c-word]?
Dream Hampton tweeted:
Roland Martin tweeted:
Elizabeth Hawksworth tweeted:
If you’re at all familiar with The Onion, you know this is not typically out of character. Yet, when dealing with children, you should probably find another subject guys. Anyway, Twitter was up in arms about the situation and thankfully, the tasteless “newspaper” released an apology…
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
How much does this help? I don’t know. I just hope this situation does not have to be little Quvenzhané’s first and lasting impression of Hollywood. She is talented, promising and more importantly, impressionable. How horrible would it be if this one tweet served as a pivotal point in how she grows into not only an actress but a young woman.
SMH, social media these days seem to do more bad than good. More on that later.
Let us know how you feel about the situation.