The aquarium on Tuesday tweeted a picture of Abby, an otter who helps train orphaned otters how to survive in the wild. The tweet featured social media words and phrases such as “thick,” ”c h o n k” and “OH LAWD SHE COMIN” which are often used to describe someone who is overweight.
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
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
People took offense.
The aquarium on Wednesday tweeted a multipart apology that it called a “learning moment.” It apologized and said it was unaware of the connotations associated with some of the memes.
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. 2/4— Monterey Bay Aquarium (@MontereyAq) December 19, 2018
The aquarium says “Abby is looking fit.”