Comedy Central…I used to love you, but you crossed a line.
Comedy Central. On of my favorite networks, has may have crossed a line. For some time Steven Colbert has continously slandered trans women, and the various problems with South Park.
Well it has officially gone beyond that. There was a sketch on Chocolate News, which was on a trans women. I know the point…underlying the sketch, criticism of gays and transsexuals in the black community. But there was some level of offensiveness. It did not come during the sketch imo, which made a good point. There was a group of rather butch black women criticizing the lack of feminity with a trans woman, being ignorant of signs throughout her life. The problem did not come from that. The problem came from pronouns.
David Allen Greer used he/she, and even worse…it, to refer to that trans woman. There is a point in revealing the bigotry within a community in a humorous way, however using dehumanizing language crosses the line. It is often forgotten that black trans women face the perfect storm of homo/trans phobia, racial discrimination, and gender stereotypes and discrimination.
If that were bad enough…the Daily Show crossed a line, and joined the worse. Near the end of a “real Americans sketch” Rob Rigel, had “pre-op trannies” on a check list…once again dehumanizing.
To comedy central…some things really should not be joked, trans jokes are just as tasteless as gay jokes. Sometimes humor does have a detrimental effect.
So I make an suggestion to John Stewart, the Daily Show, and Comedy Central. Invite Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of NCTE, who is rather funny and does stand up, to help explain why dehumanizing terminology is not funny. Some things should be joked about…but some things should not. Using dehumanizing terminology and offensive jokes for group facing major discrimination and widespread and extreme violence will never be funny.