As a writer, I am always leery of passing too harsh a judgment on other writers; especially when it comes to attempts at satire. As George Carlin says, "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
I've written my
share of satire. I've toed – perhaps even crossed – that line more than once.
I've made word choices for effect. But, what The Onion did last night during the Academy Awards – what they
called Quvenzhané Wallis, a
nine-year-old child – was well over any possible definition of "the line."
While I certainly
am not the final judge of what is or isn't funny – at least not for anyone but
myself – I think any rational person would be offended by The Onion's insulting remark regarding Ms. Wallis.
Because she was
seated at the Oscar ceremony, waiting to find out if she won the award for Best
Actress, I'm sure Ms. Wallis did not see the Twitter post from The Onion. And – though it may be naïve of
me – I hope she does not see the apology they posted soon after. I hope no one
has to explain to a nine-year-old what The
Onion said that required – that demanded – an apology.
I believe in the
First Amendment. The Onion has the
right to write whatever they please. I, however, am not forced to agree with
them. Nor, am I obligated to continue following them on Facebook, Google+,
Tumblr, and Twitter.
I have, therefore, expunged The Onion from each of the social media
platforms I use.