A week ago at the Academy Awards ceremony, this beautiful child was nominated for Best Actress. She made history being the youngest female ever to be nominated, she made history because she is Black. I didn’t watch either the movie that earned her the nomination or the awards ceremony. I can’t say that I was terribly interested in either, and in a manner of speaking I am still not interested.
I wouldn’t be addressing this at all except despite my rejection of jumping on the controversy bandwagon while it was hot, as I often do, I choose to let time pass. My opinion hasn’t changed, but I felt this was important enough to not go for hits on the website, rather allow you constant reader to digest when the world is not watching.
The brief history is that during the Oscar telecast the satirical website The Onion tweeted the following: “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013”
I stayed off Twitter on Oscar night because the constant movement of the timeline on something so incredibly irrelevant to me was not something I felt like combating. I just didn’t have it in me. I didn’t see the tweet when it happened or the alleged outrage as it unfolded. I suppose it may have but I did not see it.
I saw it the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. I saw it again today 7 days later when Melissa Harris-Parry did two whole segments about it, and why it was so awful. Yeah, sorry not so much.
The ongoing outrage comes from little Black girls being subjected to what former little Black girls who are now Black women have been subjected to in this nation. Black girls should not be disrespected. Black girls should not be sexualized.
While both are true, and I agree, I don’t agree that the outrage over the tweet should be as ugly as it currently is, and continues.
The tweet was an attempt at a joke. I can’t say that it was a very good joke, but it was obviously absurd, and obviously satire, and obviously untrue, which is why the person who sent the tweet did it. You can not look at that face of innocence and find cunt. She is sugar and spice and everything nice, so the idea that she could be a cunt or display cunt-like behavior is where the irony comes in, or would if people stopped being angry and started thinking.
I can understand on a level wanting to protect this young girl from the ugliness that exists. I understand wanting to shield and protect her and preserve her childhood. Yet I also understand that this family chose to allow their child into the very adult world, carrying a puppy purse and feel they can keep her innocent while she keeps the paychecks rolling in. I am not saying that she is now the meal ticket, I am saying that this little one didn’t just appear in a movie because she was a little Black girl without a relaxer, I am saying they are pursuing a career in acting for this girl in an industry that has produced more Todd Bridges and Michael Jacksons than Jodi Fosters and Ron Howards.
There is the anger that children should be off-limits. Except, we’ve made fun of kids in the past. The Cosby Show made NBC billions because Bill Cosby made fun of his kids. On any given night in a comedy club there is someone on stage, talking about beating their kids, or how spoiled their kids are, or why their kid is going to be a show salesman when they grow up.
These same moms and dads that are on Twitter screaming and ranting about justice tell jokes about their kids. Kid jokes can be funny, and frankly this kid joke was funny. It was funny because it was so preposterous and so the opposite of reality. Its like calling the last person in a race to cross the finish line Speedy Gonzalez.
This anger is more about us adults projecting our anger at how we’ve been treated onto a cause that is hard to protest. Welp, I am protesting.
Oh and that George Clooney joke? That wasn’t about this girl either, it was a jab at the eternal bachelor who likes to date younger women. It was also faaaaaaaaaar less creepy than Jack Nicholson hitting on Jennifer Lawrence.
There are plenty of things to be angry about, this doesn’t need to be one of them.
Welcome to Women’s History Month.