The Onion is publicly apologizing for a controversial Oscars tweet that immediately drew a hailstorm of criticism when it was posted last night. On the satire publication's website, CEO Steve Hannah issued a personal apology to nine-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, for what he deems a "crude and offensive" tweet. "No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire," he said. Hannah also apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for stirring controversy on Hollywood's biggest night.

"Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?," read the original text of the tweet, which Hannah says was removed from The Onion's timeline in under an hour. But instead of the desperate attempt at shock humor many thought the joke to be, it was actually a clumsy reference to one of host Seth MacFarlane's lines earlier in the Oscars telecast. Still, the questionable move resulted in an immediate outcry across Twitter — owing mainly to its young subject. Many thought The Onion had crossed the line, and today's unprecedented apology suggests its chief executive agrees. In closing, Hannah says "Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry."