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The Onion Apologizes For Offensive Actress Tweet

The Chicago-based satirical newspaper called Quvenzhané Wallis an expletive that many called inappropriate

Monday, Feb 25, 2013  |  Updated 1:40 PM EDT
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"We tried to make a clever comment on Twitter," Scott Dikkers, VP of creative development for the Onion, said. "There's a line. Sometimes you don't want to cross the line. The Onion's crossed it many times, I'm sure we'll cross it again. We crossed it this time."

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The Onion is apologizing for calling the 9-year-old star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" a vulgar and offensive name on Twitter.

The Chicago-based satirical newspaper called Quvenzhané Wallis an expletive intended to denigrate women. The "C" word joke was meant to parody how beloved Quvenzhané is, but many thought the language inappropriate for discussing a child.

After being lambasted overnight, The Onion asked for forgiveness on Monday.

CEO Steve Hannah wrote: "It was crude and offensive — not to mention inconsistent with The Onion's commitment to parody and satire, however biting."

Hannah said the offensive tweet was taken down in an hour and the newspaper has "instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures" to ensure it will not happen again.

He said those responsible would be disciplined.

"Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better," Hannah said. "All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."

Scott Dikkers, VP of creative development for the publication, said in a Monday interview that the publication has sent a note of apology to Quvenzhané and her family.

"We tried to make a clever comment on Twitter," Dikkers said. "There's a line. Sometimes you don't want to cross the line. The Onion's crossed it many times, I'm sure we'll cross it again. We crossed it this time."

Not everyone thought the tweet went too far: It was retweeted more than 500 times and favorited by some 400 before being deleted.

"She's a big star now," Dikkers said. "I think she can take it."

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