Aquarium apologises for using 'African American vernacular English' to describe otter's body

Getty and Twitter

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in America garnered mixed reactions after a tweet about Abby the otter went viral and became a meme, prompting a conversation about the power of language.

In a post on Tuesday, the aquarium posted a picture of a female otter called Abby and described it with what they saw as meme language.

This included:

 Abby is a thick girl

What an absolute unit

She C h o n k

Look at the size of this lady


Another internetism!

They followed up the tweet with #bodypawsitivity and:

Seriously though, Abby is looking fir for one of the toughest jobs in the world: Raising stranded sea otter pups!

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!

Whilst many found the tweet funny, others thought it was offensive, as it used African American vernacular descriptors reserved for black women’s bodies, to describe an animal.

Monterey Bay Aquarium listened to the criticism, and apologised.

They concluded:

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.

More: Flat Earthers try to explain what they believe the auroras are

More: While Trump prepared to spend two weeks in Florida, Obama handed out presents at a Children's Hospital

The Conversation (0)