You know what the sad thing about this is? It’s so predictable that the writers at Saturday Night Live probably never gave it a second thought whether this might be offensive. The level of insensitivity is astounding; Transmockery is apparently still A-OK as entertainment.
GLAAD’s press release is out:
This Saturday, on an airing of Saturday Night Live, NBC (a subsidiary of Comcast) broadcast a dangerous and blatantly transphobic segment which they called ‘Estro-Maxxx’ – the punchline of which was the lives of countless transgender people across the country.
The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women. This segment cannot be defended as “just a joke” because there was no “joke” to speak of. The attempted comedy of the skit hinges solely on degrading the lives and experiences of transgender women. Holding people up for ridicule simply on the basis of their identity fuels a dangerous and hurtful climate and puts people in danger, especially given how infrequently the media shines a fair and accurate light on the lives of transgender people.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation calls upon Comcast and NBC to apologize and remove the segment from Hulu and all future airings of the show.
The reaction from the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund:
Transgender Rights Group Demands that NBC/Comcast Apologize for Transphobic Saturday Night Live Skit
On Saturday, January 29, NBC’s Saturday Night Lived aired a cruel and transphobic skit. It revolved around “Estro-Maxx” and it amounted to nothing more than an attack on transgender people.
The piece purported to represent transgender women during gender transition on “Estro-Maxx” hormone therapy, and mocked them with representations of men with facial hair wearing dresses. It was an attack on transgender women, plain and simple.
“Degrading, dehumanizing and ridiculing transgender people isn’t comedy,” said Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) executive director Michael Silverman. “Saturday Night Live’s skit contributes to the toxic brew of intolerance that leads to real-life discrimination, harassment and violence for transgender people.”
TLDEF demands that NBC and its owner Comcast apologize and take steps to ensure that similar segments do not air again in the future.
The response from HRC:
HRC Condemns SNL’s Anti-Transgender Segment, Calls on NBC to Remove Skit from NBC Platforms
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, is calling on NBC to apologize after an anti-transgender skit aired on Saturday Night Live. The skit, titled ‘Estro-Maxxx,’ blatantly mocked transgender people, minimizing the challenges they face. SNL’s degrading sense of humor also supports many of the false stereotypes that could be used as fuel for anti-transgender sentiment, including discrimination and potentially even violence. Illustrating SNL’s pattern of relying on anti-transgender humor, the skit comes just weeks after the show used the term “son-daughter” to refer to Cher’s transgender son Chaz Bono. HRC calls on NBC to remove the skit from NBC.com, all future broadcasts of the show, and all other NBC platforms such as Hulu.com.
“People across the country tune into SNL for laughs every Saturday night. The problem with this skit is that it is in extremely poor taste, and mocks the difficulties associated with transitioning,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It fuels misperceptions that will be used by some to continue patterns of discrimination. Anti-transgender skits have no place on television. NBC should publicly apologize and never let this happen again.”
The skit degraded transgender women by featuring men with facial hair wearing women’s clothing, while the audience laughed. Hate crimes against transgender people are on the rise nationwide. This is no laughing matter. Attempts to degrade and dehumanize transgender people on national television do not serve as humor.
“NBC has the power to set an example of fair-mindedness and inclusiveness for its viewers. It is unfortunate that they instead used their platform to further ignorance,” added Solmonese.