The Onion is a satirical, faux-news organization and they have never, ever been afraid to make some crude jokes. When they called Quvenzhane the C-word it really didn’t phase me or stand out to me as a big deal. In my opinion their humor either accurately captures the hypocrisy of certain cultural attitudes, points out how silly some of those attitudes are or they make jokes about something so farfetched, so obviously and completely untrue that it’s intended to be funny. I believe the joke about Quvenzhane falls into that last category. Some people think that calling a little kid a bad name (even as a joke) is off limits but when Seth MacFarlane similarly made fun of her no one batted an eye. They took the Tweet down an hour later and have since issued a pretty sincere apology. Let’s just take a look at some of the other things The Onion has Tweeted over the last few weeks that sparked no backlash at all.
A joke about Oscar Pistorius who actually did kill his girlfriend. No one was upset they were joking about someone who was actually killed?
Another joke about the rampant gun murders in Chicago. No one cares about that . . .
Completely racialized, religious joke about a mass murderer. No one cared about this.
I am not saying that because people aren’t universally offended by certain things that it makes one thing not offensive. I just find it interesting that people were so upset about this particular joke coming from this particular publication? Do you think they crossed the line? I think when things that can be potentially offensive are said we must consider the source and context.
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