Quvenzhané Wallis Isn’t a C*nt, but She is a Brat

– Posted in: Manners, Parenting, Worst Mom Rants

I can’t believe I’m writing another post about that stupid Onion tweet

First of all, let me just clarify that in no way do I condone someone calling a 9-year-old the c-word. A little kid shouldn’t be anywhere in the vicinity of the c-word. Hell, I don’t even like being in the vicinity of the c-word.

That said, something’s been bugging me. The focus of everyone’s ire — from what I can tell — has been on The Onion, their apology or lack thereof, and what an idiotic, tragically irrelevant operation it is. But what I keep coming back to is. . . I can see where they were going with this tweet. They just really blew the wording.

I have very little tolerance for obnoxious children. Including my own. So when I was watching Quvenzhané Wallis at the Oscars, I was cringing. Every time the camera hit that kid, she didn’t wave politely or smile as if to say, “Wow, I’m so amazed and humbled to be here. I can’t believe I’ve been nominated for the greatest acting award in the world! I mean, all of these other actresses in my category are amazing. This is incredible!” No. She was pulling a, “Look at me. I’m awesome. If you need something, talk to my agent…”

Talk to My Agent Shirt This isn’t just her. It’s everywhere. We’re raising a generation of kids who think it’s cute to act like stuck up celebrity assholes. And apparently their parents do too because somebody pays for those “Rock Star” and “Talk to the Hand” shirts.

I expect this from middle schoolers. Middle schoolers are cranky and sullen and hormonal. But younger kids? Younger kids still need to be kicked in the butt and told the “sassy” isn’t gonna fly. Then hopefully by the time they are actually middle schoolers, some of the neurons in that built up gray matter will fire a couple extra times when you tell them to stop acting like idiots.

So no, Quvenzhané didn’t deserve to be called a c*nt. But she did deserve to be called a brat. Because she certainly was acting like one.

40 Comments… add one

Judy February 26, 2013, 2:35 pm

I didn’t watch the Oscars and I don’t even know who the girl is that you are talking about. BUT, I agree that kids are acting more and more entitled and more and more “aren’t I the best thing in the world” and more and more “bratty.” I can’t stand that. And who’s to blame? I don’t know. The parents, the fans, the children themselves, their agents. . . and on and on and on. Ugh. I’m glad I raised a family of “nobodies” because they are the most wonderful, beautiful nobodies in the world!

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:04 pm

Nobodies make the world go ’round.

Kelly DeBie February 26, 2013, 3:20 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one. It doesn’t seem like there is a humble bone in that kid’s body, but it’s also not her fault. Someone has been telling her for four years that she is awesome with every breath. Sigh.

The tweet was gross. I have a dark sarcastic sense of humor, but there is a line.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:07 pm

True — I’ve never seen an interview with her mom, but I doubt I’d enjoy it.

I’m with you on the tweet. I’m pretty tolerant, but that crossed it for me. I even thought Seth was pretty funny.

Katherine Boyer Coble February 26, 2013, 3:37 pm

Yes to all of this. Everything I’ve seen of her makes me want to put her in the world’s longest Time Out. She was awful in every interview promoting the film and hugely bratty once receiving the nomination.

The C word is not in my repertoire. But gosh. I wish they’d called her a brat outright so instead of dancing around gender politics we could have a real discussion about kids who need better guidance.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:08 pm

Haha! The longest time out…

Of course, if they’d called her a brat, no one would be talking about it anyway.

Lala February 26, 2013, 4:11 pm

Everything about this situation is gross from the utter lack of humility, and the nurtured narcissism, to the ignorant use of an inherently flagrant word to describe a female child. Wasn’t there some kind of movement to “take back” the c-word, sort of like the “slut walk” to “take back” the word “slut” as if those words were ever “ours” in the first place TO take back?

That said, the only reason I even know about this story is because of your blog. Like Judy above, I didn’t watch the Oscars and don’t even know who this child is, but now I’m curious and must investigate further.

Anyway, another interesting read!

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:11 pm

Thanks Lala. I have very mixed feelings on the “taking words back” thing. I need to mull that over. Maybe defer to smarter people, like Kelly O’Sullivan. http://www.kmosullivan.com.

James February 26, 2013, 4:45 pm

Props! You hit the nail right on the head.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:11 pm

Thanks James! Love nailing it.

Rebecca February 26, 2013, 6:25 pm

I’ve heard from more than one other blogger/internet commenter…..that the kid is a brat so it must be true. Now I want to google her to watch clips for myself. But I don’t want to do that because it would bring more attention to someone who probably doesn’t deserve it.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:12 pm

I know. I was hesitant to even link to the stuff. It’s how I always feel when I write about stuff I can’t stand.

Molly February 27, 2013, 4:48 am

I don’t do the Oscars. Never have. Never understood the point of celebrating celebrity when the whole reason movies work is because of editing, sound, direction and promotion.

I don’t know who this kid is and that means likely nothing except to say that she and I are even.

Parenting is hard. Conscious parenting is insanely hard. May she not turn into another Lindsay Lohan, but we shall see.

I love The Onion. I didn’t see the tweet; I’m not gonna look for it; I’m not going to read or look for more about that kid than this post. The Onion has it’s own set of rules, they have the First Amendment at their back as we all do, but unfortunately they chose a very incendiary word for a child. I say “don’t be a dick” and “grow a pair” when I am frustrated, but that’s a personal experience. The Onion has no personal relationship or experience with anything it “reports” on. Yes, it is farce, satire, parody… But one of the things I love the most about The Onion is its willingness to “go there” no matter how depraved or objectionable it might seem. I don’t respect The Onion, but I do dig how they have managed to stay completely irreverent on true to their philosophy, whatever that is. Don’t count on The Onion to behave and you’ll never be disappointed.

I’m rambling. What else is new.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:17 pm

I used to love the Onion. I just feel like they’ve gotten tired — like SNL in the ’90s. This tweet almost felt like some desperate attempt to be funny that failed. And there’s nothing worse than watching someone try to be funny who’s not.

I’m very “Say what you want” “First Amendment” girl. It freaks me out to have anyone’s speech infringed on. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling these guys out for being tasteless jerks. There’s still a line in comedy, and the great comedians know when and where you draw it. And for who.

And now I’M rambling.

Andrea February 27, 2013, 8:42 am

AMEN.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:17 pm

:)

Cheryl S. February 27, 2013, 9:41 am

Agreed! And I also agree that the Onion shouldn’t have said that, but it is THE ONION! That’s what they do! And occasionally, they are very, very funny. But they do miss the mark. Not all jokes can be winners. Unless you are talking about me. Because I? Never miss. (At least in the fantasy life in my head…there? I’m hysterical 24/7. And pretty. And super fit.)

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:18 pm

True story. You are ALWAYS funny. Never miss. And gorgeous.

Michelle February 27, 2013, 12:54 pm

True! But you gotta blame the adults in her life….it’s our job as parents to humble our kids when they get a little high and mighty….

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:19 pm

Yeah, I don’t think her mother is winning any prizes for most humble parent of the year.

Anwar February 27, 2013, 1:14 pm

“Look at me. I’m awesome. If you need something, talk to my agent…”

When did she do that? You mean the fist pumping? That is a reference to her character and the scenes they showed before the camera went to her. It’s the signature move of the character. Did you even see the film?

Seemed like a kid with massive energy enjoying herself more than anything. You can put anything you want on it. Clearly she was happy and humble when she lost. She was smiling and cheering her heart out for Jennifer Lawrence.

And the Onion tweet was not in any way implying that she was a brat. That wasn’t the point of it.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 1:25 pm

Interesting take. So what did you think the point of the Onion tweet was exactly?

Anwar February 27, 2013, 1:47 pm

The Onion largely satirizes the media and people’s obsession with celebrity bashing and overall misogyny. By the taking the most innocent person in the room and calling her a word she could never really be, they are making a joke about the constant need to bring people down.

The “Everyone else seems to be afraid to say it” part was the real joke. As if it’s a big open dirty secret that the girl is a horrible person and everyone is basically lying to themselves and calling her “amazing.” Well, it’s not true because most people really do like her. She’s just a harmless little girl at worst. When is it okay to call anyone that word? Out culture doesn’t say but it definitely says that it’s not right for a 9 year old. If it’s not okay for her, should it ever be okay?

It was poking fun at the people that felt the need to insult everyone but her on Twitter that night. It was a joke about acceptable misogyny. It was not a good joke. It was not funny. It went over many heads and it’s impact is more important than any intention it had. It turned her into the butt of a horrible joke. They didn’t try to defend it later because the apology would be deemed insincere but the real intention was not to insult her, I’m sure.

Tammy February 27, 2013, 2:53 pm

While I get where you’re going with this — and trust me, I’ve seen enough “The joke is funny to the wrong people because meaning behind the joke never made it out in the first place and now the joke’s actually on them” situations — I think you may be giving The Onion a little more credit than they deserve. They’ve done some really witty work, but a lot of what I’ve seen come out of that place lately (mostly in the form of tweets or facebook posts) has just been sort of sophomoric. Not that I’d do a better job! They have some great writing when it’s on.

And I don’t know if they considered it, but their apology ended up sounding insincere anyway. So maybe they should’ve just gone for it.

Anyway, I appreciate your analysis of the situation. It’s well thought out and brings up some really good points.

andrea-maybe it's just me February 27, 2013, 2:24 pm

Oh my! I am not sure what rock I have been under…and can’t decide if it is good or bad that I crawled out! Sure sounds bratty to me. I find it another interesting case of how something happened that nobody can take back, but the media (not you) has to keep on talking about it so that nobody can forget either…bleah!

Tammy February 27, 2013, 2:56 pm

Okay, it’s starting to make me laugh that so many of my readers have no idea what I’m talking about. I kind of feel like I’m providing a service now…

And I think this just goes to show that you’re all really smart because you just don’t bother to watch all that crap. Why you’re reading me is the big question.

Polly February 27, 2013, 8:45 pm

As an alternative high school teacher, I consider bad parenting job security for me. Sorry. :)

Tammy February 27, 2013, 11:08 pm

I don’t think you have anything to worry about. You have the most secure job in the world. I mean, unless they just cut education all together, but I can’t imagine THAT happening…

Lisa February 27, 2013, 10:04 pm

I wasn’t mortified by the C-word, but I’m basing that on an assumption the tweeter was either a Brit or someone who, like my 15-year-old self, looked up the word and found out it means “of or like a woman.” So my friends and I co-oped the word and used it to one another, sort of like the N-word for women.

Anyway, she was a goof. Not surprising that any nine-year-old didn’t know how to act properly, much less a nine-year-old whose parents made her an actor already. Not sure how that happened. The young woman nominated a couple of years ago for Precious was sort of the standard bearer in this category, right?

Tammy February 27, 2013, 11:12 pm

Ugh. If only we could use it in its true Webster’s (it was Webster’s, right) form. It would just bore the fun right out of it for everyone.

I think I was under a rock or a kid or a mountain of pain pills during the Precious Oscars. Was she just as young? More obnoxious? I may have to google.

Katherine Coble February 28, 2013, 1:39 am

Actually Gabby Sidoube (or however you spell it) was quite a bit older, charming, self-effacing, and someone I really and truly adore. Almost the polar opposite of Quvenzhane Wallis.

Tammy February 28, 2013, 8:19 am

Katherine, I remember her now. I never saw that movie, but she seemed like an amazing young woman from all the interviews I caught.

Susan March 1, 2013, 2:03 am

Thank you for saying it. She DID act like an obnoxious brat.

Tammy March 3, 2013, 4:56 pm

Thanks for saying thanks. It makes me feel good.:)

Alexa (katbiggie) March 1, 2013, 6:46 am

Amen! Someone needs to knock these brats down a level!! :-)

Tammy March 3, 2013, 4:58 pm

I really do wish there was some more smack down happening. I have very little tolerance for the adorable “sassy” girl. Like the Disney show brats that girls are apparently supposed to emulate.

Margaret March 3, 2013, 4:43 pm

The C word was the wrong word to describe this precocious brat, not because it is insulting, but because it is not precise enough. I am thinking more along the lines of the B word, but that doesn’t exactly do it either. What do you call a kid that seems preternaturally adult, overly conscious of her own “cuteness”, and seems overly rehearsed? The Onion writer just blurted out the first thing that came to his mind; he should have consulted a Thesaurus before Tweeting.

Tammy March 3, 2013, 5:01 pm

I’d be hard pressed to even go so far as the real b-word for a kid. But you totally nailed it with your assessment of the “What do you call a kid that seems preternaturally adult, overly conscious of her own “cuteness”, and seems overly rehearsed” thing.

calvin March 4, 2013, 10:06 am

Their mistake was probably that they didn’t realize this girl already has a reputation for being a brat, so when they called her the c word people thought they were actually commenting on her personality, instead of making a completely unwarranted comment for laughs. They made the mistake of assuming that she was a sweet little girl whom everyone loved. even if that’s not the case though i still think people made way too huge of a deal out of this. stupid people failing to understand the way satire works.

Tammy March 6, 2013, 2:50 pm

I guess part of this is that most women can’t stand the word. And for me, it also just looked sad and almost jump the shark-ish from the Onion.

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