Aquarium Apologizes for Calling Otter Fat in ‘Problematic… African American Vernacular’

An aquarium apologized after tweeting about a fat Otter
Monterey Bay Aquarium/Twitter

Monterey Bay Aquarium has apologized for calling an otter fat in a joke Twitter post, which it claimed was “problematic and insensitive” for referencing “African American Vernacular English.”

The aquarium poked fun at the size of the otter, named Abby, by referencing a number of Internet memes, and using the hashtag #bodypawsitivity.

Despite the fact that few users complained and the tweet received a larger number of retweets and likes, the aquarium quickly followed up with an apology, claiming to be “deeply sorry” if anyone felt “alienated” by the “problematic and insensitive” jokes.

“Hey everyone. It has come to our attention that some of the references in this tweet are problematic and insensitive,” Monterey Bay Aquarium declared. “If our tweet alienated you, please know that we are deeply sorry, and that we offer our sincerest apologies. If you follow our feed, we often reference popular memes to talk about the ocean. In this case, the memes used had connotations we were unaware of until now.”

“In particular, several terms referenced originated from African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and specifically reference Black women’s bodies. Using them in a sea otter meme without that background makes insinuations we never intended. We need to do better,” it continued. “Our mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean, and we’re thankful for your support as we try to advance that mission on social media. We’re also thankful for those of you out there pointing out our blindspots and how we can improve. Thanks everyone.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.


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