Journalist apologises for transphobic slur on morning TV; urges others to check themselves
UPDATE: July 29, 2016, 9:46 a.m. AEST Morning television host Karl Stefanovic apologised for his repeated use of a transphobic slur during Thursday’s episode of The Today Show.
After social media outcry over the offensive segment on Australian TV, Stefanovic said “By using the word ‘tranny’, I offended an awful a lot of beautiful, sensitive people. I honestly didn’t know the negative and deeply hurtful impact that word has, not only on members of the LGBTQI community, but on their family and on their friends. And therein lies the problem I reckon – I never bothered to ask.”
He continued, “To anyone to found the segment funny, please now understand why it was the exact opposite, an ignorant jibe at the expense of a beautiful community already battling against the odds for mainstream acceptance.”
Karl Stefanovic is the sometime-people’s prince of Australian morning television. He once presented a whole show drunk. This morning however, he didn’t win himself any fans when he created a piece of television that was so transphobic it should be cast into the sea.
A Channel 9 news crew landed in Rio for the 2016 Olympics only to have someone try to mug them. A traumatic enough event in itself, the Today Show host decided to focus on the fact that the would-be-mugger was reportedly transgender.
The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) July 27, 2016
The live-cross started with an offensive conflation of drag queens and trans people via the use of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” the theme song to the 1994 Australian movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Throwing petrol on the fire, Stefanovic also referred repeatedly to the criminals as “trannies.”
“The other thing is Chris, I know that you have gone to see the police about this tranny,” mused a giggling Stefanovic as a “wanted” poster appeared on screen featuring Hugo Weaving’s character from the aforementioned cult favourite.
Perhaps an indication that the station’s powers that be have at least some grasp of the offensiveness of the piece, the segment is notably absent from the shows highlight reel that is uploaded every day to the the program’s website.
Viewers took to twitter to express their dismay.
Nice to see @karlstefanovic using transphobic terms on national tv this morning as a “joke”
Nathan Davamoni (@ndav94) July 28, 2016
@karlstefanovic “Trannies”? Really? Disappointing to hear you using denigrating names for transgender people, even if they were criminals.
E Gannon (@jenesaisblah) July 28, 2016
At the time of publishing there was no official statement or formal apology from the Stefanovic camp. Granted, the man seems to have the social sensitivity of a 10-year-old boy, so we aren’t holding our breath.
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