Monterey Bay Aquarium has apologized after sparking massive backlash because of a tweet that apparently “fat-shamed” one of its otters.
In a tweet Tuesday, the aquarium referenced the overweight otter’s physical appearance.
“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 !” the tweet read.
They later added “She’s one of 6 resident females that train orphaned otters in the necessary skills to survive back in the wild. There’s a lot more to this sea otter than meets the eye!”
The aquarium was quick to be harshly criticized, especially over its choice of slang, which has been called out as African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and typically used to refer to black culture.
On Wednesday the aquarium tweeted a four-part apology.
“If our tweet alienated you, please know that we are deeply sorry, and that we offer our sincerest apologies,” the aquarium’s Twitter account stated. “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,” the tweets read in part.
Even with the apology, some Twitter users are saying the aquarium shouldn’t even have to apologize.