Cultural otterpriation? Aquarium apologizes for 'problematic' fat animal tweet
To celebrate Abby, a rather substantial sea otter, the aqarium tried to emulate an innocent fat cat meme – but doomed itself by including a few slang words typically used to appreciably describe large black women.
Abby is a thicc girl What an absolute unit She c h o n k Look at the size of this lady OH LAWD SHE COMIN Another Internetism ! pic.twitter.com/s5fav2gu09— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) December 18, 2018
Monterey Bay Aquarium is in California, – and also on Twitter, – so it didn't go well. Cultural appropriation isn't something the woke crowd will let slide – even from a body-positive sea mammal.
Please delete this tweet. It is offensive. https://t.co/TnRQDbiRyx— Chanda Prescod-Weinstein 🙅🏽♀️ 🇧🇧🌈 (@IBJIYONGI) December 19, 2018
A day after posting the original tweet, the aquarium prostrated itself before the internet, apologizing for the "problematic and insensitive" language and inviting everyone to take part in its "learning moment."
Hey everyone. It has come to our attention that some of the references in this tweet are problematic and insensitive. We're posting here in the thread so that people who have engaged with this tweet will join us in our learning moment. 1/4— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) December 19, 2018
Several people appeared genuinely offended,
There's a reason we tell non-AA folks to avoid using AAVE: Our language, humor, and cultural references are borne from some of humanity's worst atrocities. If you haven't endured that pain, you can't know where the faultlines in our expression are. Please do better next time.— Post-Surgical Agitator ☭🌹 (@thespinsterymc) December 19, 2018
Since most of the don’t sweat it comments, appear to be from white, or no picture posters, I’m going on a limb and say that it remains demeaning to black humans and isn’t necessary to spread your message or awareness. Maybe let people of color manage your Twitter account.— kim trombly (@motorcityrunawa) December 19, 2018
while others applauded the aquarium's lugubrious mea culpa
Not only are your MBAquaruim tweets excellent, your apology is spot on. This account shows exactly how social media should be used. Keep up the great work!— Kirby (@ChileVerde42) December 20, 2018
Hey, thanks for giving such a good example of how to listen and respond to this type of criticism. It's OKAY to admit to making a mistake and learning from it, and it's much better than doubling down.— ⛄ Jingle Kells ⛄ (@justkelly_ok) December 19, 2018
Most, however, chided the aquarium for caving to the bullying
you otter be able to make a joke. i mean who needs their seal of approval anyway.— Jesse Michaels (@jesse9michaels) December 19, 2018
This is the most pathetic tweet imaginable. Grow a spine.— Boru (@TheOneRuler) December 20, 2018
Having to apologize for calling an otter fat is peak 2018. pic.twitter.com/HiHG6LLdh2— Count Dankula🏴 (@CountDankulaTV) December 20, 2018
…and by that point everyone had forgotten about the otter.
ALMOST everyone, that is.
I like big pups and I cannot lie,You other otters can’t deny,When a cute chordate’s got a big ol’ waist and a round rock in your face,I think it’s fun— Grace Raver 🗞📹 (@graver317) December 18, 2018
If you like this story, share it with a friend!