MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA — An aquarium's attempt to be witty on the web backfired spectacularly after their attempt at internet-speak ended up being problematic.
USA Today reports that when the Monterey Bay Aquarium tweeted a photo of Abby the sea otter on December 19, it came with a caption that started with: 'Abby is a thicc girl.'
The tweet then went on to comment on the sea otter's size by referencing a whole bunch of memes, the point of which was apparently to show just how big the animal can be out of the water.
Some people found the tweet amusing enough. But others didn't think it was cute, especially finding the use of the word 'thicc' offensive.
For those living under a rock, 'thicc' is slang for a full-figured body, specifically one with a curvy waist and big butt. The term supposedly dates back to black culture in the 90s, when it was used in reference to women.
One user referred to it as 'digital blackface' while others called out the 'shamefully appropriative' use of African American Vernacular English, or AAVE.
A University of Washington professor also chimed in to say: "I'm certain that @MontereyAq didn't realize that they were basically comparing Black women to animals by using AAVE developed to talk about Black women's bodies to describe an animal."
Monterey Bay Aquarium has since apologized for their problematic post in a series of tweets. And since we're in peak 2018 where you can't please anyone, some folks were in turn offended that an apology was necessary.
Not sure what any of you feel, but we here at TomoNews think people should just chill and focus on the damn otter.