Gabourey Sidibe Apologizes for Anti-Transgender Slur

Actress made insensitive comments on The Arsenio Hall Show.

Posted: 02/03/2014 08:30 AM EST

Gabourey Sidibe is in hot water after telling insensitive jokes on the Arsenio Hall Show. The Oscar-winning actress has angered transgender activists for using the term "tranny" five times in an under one minute during the show. 

The American Horror Story: Coven star, who has been living in New Orleans for the filming of the show, talked about life in the Big Easy. "There was a bar that we would frequent and every time we'd go, when we were leaving every single time there was always like a gang of cops arresting trannies. Specifically trannies," she said. "And I don't know what goes on with trannies but that tranny on tranny crime needs to stop! It is tearing our nation apart!"

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Huffington Post, "Using the word 'tranny' isn't OK anymore. Using it to make fun of people is definitely not OK. And using it to make fun of any kind of violence is just plain wrong."

Keisling continues, "I know she meant it in fun but that's the problem in this case. It's not just that she used the word 'tranny' but that she's making fun of violence in a city where the police have a history of committing violence and discrimination against trans women of color. It's the kind of thing that trans people listen to and say, 'This is someone who is not thinking about our lives. This is someone who is making fun of our problems.' Gabby is someone who has approached lots of different social issues with grace and class and so this is just such a disappointment."

Sidibe has since apologized for the transgression via Twitter: "I've apologized several times for using the word 'Tranny.' I don't realize that it was a slur. I'm very sorry for my poor choice of words."

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 (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

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