It appears we finally know where the line of too offensive is for The Onion.
For the most part, no one is safe from the brutal mockery of "America's Finest News Source."
But after a tweet about 9-year-old best actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis horrified the Onion's followers, the satire organization apologized in a rare moment of sincerity.
CEO Steve Hannah wrote on the Onion's Facebook page Monday morning:
Feb. 25, 2013
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.
For what it's worth, no one seemed too offended (or surprised) when host Seth MacFarlane joked that "In 16 years Quvenzhané Wallis will be too young to date George Clooney."
Here's the Onion's offending tweet, calling Quvenzhane "kind of a c***."
The Onion "deleted the tweet after people responded with outrage (but naturally, screenshots had been captured by multiple people).
Whoever is tweeting for @theonion tonight needs to be jobless by morning.— katherine (@capecodgurl) February 25, 2013