As most celebrities know, being in the Hollywood limelight comes with a certain price; that being that you’re open to any and all criticism, hate and slander the world can throw at you. However, most of us only think of that rule when it comes to adults, but child star Quvenzhané Wallis recently got a dose of that harsh reality when a writer for The Onion cruelly called her a “c—t” on Twitter. And, unfortunately, that wasn’t the only diss she received over the weekend.
Last week, The Hollywood Reporter published one “anonymous” Academy Award voter’s lengthy and “brutally honest” take on this year’s Oscar nominees. And when the anonymous director wrote about why he wouldn’t vote for Wallis for Best Actress, he not only criticized her acting, he criticized her name as well.
“I also don’t vote for anyone whose name I can’t pronounce. Quvez—? Quzen—? Quyzenay? Her parents really put her in a hole by giving her that name — Alphabet Wallis,” said the director before criticizing her performance in Beasts of The Southern Wild.
“The truth is, it’s a very sweet but immature performance from a 9-year-old. I’ve directed children. They probably did a thousand takes and put the best ones together,” he said.
And the insensitive comments didn’t stop there. During the Academy Awards, host Seth MacFarlane mocked George Clooney’s penchant for dating younger women and thrust Wallis into his dirty joke.
“To give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be 16 years until she’s too old for Clooney,” said MacFarlane.
Joke or no joke, it’s just common sense and common decency not to refer to a child as the c-word, use them in an inappropriate sexual joke or criticize them over something they have no control over, like their name.
The harsh comments about Wallis not only speak to the fact that those in entertainment forget that child actors are still children and should be treated as such, but that Hollywood, specifically in the case of the anonymous director, has a long way to go in embracing black culture and names and not dismissing them as unfamiliar and problematic.
Sadly, Wallis isn’t alone. Check out some other stars that were bashed over their blackness below.