The Onion to check IDs before calling females C-word

Proposed rejection symbol for manuscripts failing to meet new c-word guidelines.The Onion, a national humor publication reeling from criticism for an Oscar night tweet that referred to 9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis as the C-word, apologized and said it was instituting age restrictions to prevent such flaps from happening in the future.

During the awards ceremony, an Onion employee tweeted, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c***, right?” on the company’s official Twitter feed. Little known before the incident, The Onion, which publishes a website and a weekly print edition, found itself in the spotlight the day after the telecast, and the attention was overwhelmingly unflattering.

“Clearly, we were out of line, and we apologize to that little… to that girl,” Natalie Fensch, a spokesperson for the company said. “We now realize that no 9-year-old can truly be a c***.”

Fensch said that Onion CEO Monty Sweetwater had issued new age guidelines spelling out which females may or may not be described as c***s in the company’s media properties. Pressed for details about those guidelines, Fensch demurred. “Come on. I think we can all agree that we know one when we see one,” she said.

Asked if the guidelines spell out a specific minimum age, Fensch would only say, “All I can tell you is that any girl who hasn’t hit puberty yet is safe. At this time.” She went on to say that fact checkers from the Onion would contact any female referred to as a c*** in one of the publication’s manuscripts to verify that the guidelines were met. “We expect to build up a database of approved c***s that will expedite the review process for future c*** references,” Fensch said.

While Fensch reiterated CEO Sweetwater’s apology, she did try to take some heat off the writer who sent the offending tweet. “I mean, I think it was an honest mistake,” she said. “That girl looks every bit of 13.”

As to what terms The Onion’s writers would use for young females who don’t qualify as c***s under the new guidelines, Fensch would only offer that the terms “ball-busting tween” and “short-bitch” were among many being considered.