26 February 2013 10:09 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Apologising to Wallis over the C-word insult was right, but the unambivalence it required doesn't sit well with satire

"Cunt" is an interesting word. I like it – it packs a lot of invective into one syllable and four letters. It's so powerful that the Guardian style guide says I can only use it surrounded by the protective pincers of quote marks. It's magnificently unpleasant, like a full grown tiger. And like a full grown tiger, I wouldn't let the C-word loose on a nine-year-old child, which is what the Onion did in an inexplicable Oscar night tweet (now heartily retracted and apologised for): "Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis seems kind of a cunt, right? #oscars2013"

After I'd had the best part of a day to consider, I think I sort of get how this joke was maybe supposed to work. The Onion was »

- Sarah Ditum

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