It was a night full of humor that many felt crossed the lines of decency, with Seth MacFarlane, the Oscars host, also causing a bit of a stir (although not quite like the mess The Onion started) when he said about Ms. Wallis, that "it’ll be 16 years before she’s too old for" George Clooney, a joke that was also criticized for being too crude, especially in the young actress's presence.
Here's the letter of apology from The Onion:
Feb. 25, 2013
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.