2012. USA. Dir: Benh Zeitlin. With Quvenzhane? Wallis. 93 min.
Fierce, uninhibited six-year-old Hushpuppy grows up in a ramshackle bayou habitat, learning survival skills from her mercurial father in anticipation of an incoming flood. A commune of proud Wes alumni shaped this emotionally delicate and spiritually powerful indie jewel.
Beloved nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wildco-star Quvenzhané Wallis ’26 (I can’t pronounce it either) didn’t win the Oscar for Best Actress, but she did become an unwitting hero of the Twittersphere after The Onion tweeted out a tasteless joke at her expense:
The Onion (or whoever has the enviable task of running its Twitter feed) removed the joke an hour or so later, but the Internet doesn’t forget so easily—The Onion and #UnfollowTheOnion are trending up a storm, and the incident has been documented everywhere from Buzzfeed to Salonto the Associated Press, which summed up the controversy as such:
The satirical newspaper called Quvenzhane (kwuh-VEHN’-juh-nay) Wallis an expletive intended to denigrate women. The joke was meant to parody how beloved Quvenzhane is, but many thought the language inappropriate for discussing a child.
The Onion deleted the tweet about an hour after it was posted. Still, that was enough time to create a firestorm online with many saying the remark crossed a line.