Monday, February 25, 2013

Observations from the Coffee Shop 2.25

I wasn't planning on writing anything more about last night's Academy Awards but I have to get something out of my system. Before I get to that I'll mention Anne Hathaway won as expected and looked adorable as always, I really don't care if most of twitter seems to hate her. I was a little disappointed there was no Scarlett Johansson sighting but I totally forgot about Cat On A Hot Tin Roof so that was understandable.

What I need to get out of my system started with a very late night tweet by The Onion concerning nine year old Quvenzhane Wallis who was nominated for Best Actress; "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhane Wallis is kind of a c***, right?" The tweet has since been deleted. Yes it was totally offensive, especially when directed at a nine year old girl, but come on it was The Onion. I'm sure whoever was tweeting for The Onion was drinking just as much as everybody else and, looking at my tweets from last night, tweeting and drinking is never a good idea. As I said the tweet has been deleted and hopefully they apologize to her in some way. Wallis is attacked with almost as much relish as Hathaway and I'm sure it was meant as sarcasm but sometimes sarcasm goes too far.

End of story right? This is America, of course that isn't the end of it. The rapidly becoming irrelevant Keith Olbermann jumped on the soapbox he hasn't been on since the Penn State scandal broke and demanded a full public apology which I'm sure wouldn't satisfy him anyway. It has also been said the tweet was only acceptable because Wallis is a "woman of color" even though nobody anywhere has remotely considered it acceptable at all. Others are demanding to know who wrote the offensive tweet and want him, personally I'm sure it was a him, fired and severely punished. Whether or not the writer is fired is up to how The Onion handles the fickle court of public opinion but otherwise punished? What happened to the supposedly liberal Hollywood's love of the freedom of speech? If somebody can be punished for writing something stupid or crude I'm totally screwed.

It was offensive and totally over the line but was it surprising at a all? Not really, not in the world we currently live in and what is considered normal conversation and I'm quite sure the person tweeting thought it was his edgiest ever. Not in a world where gays and women seem to be perfectly acceptable punchlines of stupid stereotypical humor. Maybe it was me but I don't ever remember watching a more white and male dominated Academy Awards show than the one last night. I shouldn't be surprised, current Oscar voters are 90% white, 77% male, and have an average age of 62. Change the age and I probably just described the writing staff at The Onion too.

I may be totally wrong about all of this. If I am feel free to tell me.

There is something to be remembered here, something we all should remember sometimes. As Yahoo Canada's Greg Hughes wrote; "The Onion made a pretty significant faux pas tonight on Quvenzhane Wallis. They deleted the tweet, but the Internet doesn't ever forget."

update - For what it's worth, since I posted this morning Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, apologized by way of its Facebook page. "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." You can read the full letter here.

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