Transgender rights are once again at the forefront of our national conversation and activism after Donald Trump's misguided ban on transgender men and women serving in our military. The issue proved that there is more support for and understanding of the transgender community than ever before — but someone forgot to tell The Breakfast Club.
The radio show is under fire for promoting transphobia on two separate occasions this past week: first, when author and trans activist Janet Mock appeared on the show and was asked insulting questions about her anatomy by the hosts, and a few days later, when comedian Lil Duval stopped by and made "jokes" about murdering trans women.
The backlash began after Mock's appearance on the radio show, when hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne began asking the author and activist questions about whether she could "get wet" during sex and if she has a clitoris. A visibly uncomfortable Mock asked them to refer to Google for those answers instead of asking her.
A few days later, the subject of being transgender came up again during the group's interview with Lil Duval. The comedian was asked for his reaction on Trump's ban of transgender troops, to which Duval replied, “I’m just doing my thing. Shout out to all the trannies out there,” using what is often considered a slur for transgender people. Despite Mock's eloquent explanation of the slur just a few days prior, the co-hosts giggled.
Duval was then asked how he would react if he discovered a woman he had slept with was transgender. “This might sound messed up, but I don’t care, she dying,” he said.
“That’s a hate crime, you can’t do that,” Charlamagne told him.
“I can’t deal with that,” Lil Duval responded. “No, you manipulated me to believe in this thing. My mind, I’m gay now. I can’t live with that, bro. This would never happen if this never happened. So you don’t have to worry about me killing nobody.”
Duval's comments and the hosts' reaction to them and their intrusive questioning of Mock was too much for the trans community and its allies to bear, leading to protests and the Twitter hashtag #boycottbreakfastclub.
Here's Janet Mock's interview on The Breakfast Club. Things start to get uncomfortable around the 20 minute mark:
And here's the interview with Lil Duval a few days later, where things get uncomfortable pretty much right away:
Following the interviews, Charlamagne faced protesters at PolitiCon, who told him trans people are "not a joke."
See how Twitter is reacting to the controversy:
why are [black] men so obsessed with being ignorant? idegaf about political correctness, but it's this fixation on this narrative. pic.twitter.com/U94iUB2o4k— T$BIGGIESMALLS (@fatfemme) July 29, 2017
I was surprised Janet Mock went on The Breakfast Club bc they've been violently transphobic for a long time, but I hope she sold some books.— Kimberly N. Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) July 29, 2017
I'm not sharing that video, but know this: Janet Mock is better on every level than either of those ugly sorry excuses for men.— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) July 29, 2017
I'm watching this Janet Mock interview. And she sitting on here doing all this good teaching and they laughed at her/mocked her 2 days later— clif 3rd of his name (@seabethree) July 30, 2017
Janet Mock tried answer questions about her bottom surgery and Envy still asked "did you cut your dick off" and can "trans girls get wet?" pic.twitter.com/LeN6wz34E6— SHEBA, BABY💫 (@ToniChildish) July 30, 2017
a huge 🖕🏽to The Breakfast Club for even trying to play Janet Mock like that and to dusty ass Duval who is trash and not even funny.— Shantel G. Buggs (@sgbuggs) July 30, 2017
It was awful and of course the rest of breakfast club laughed with him even tho Janet Mock was just on the show smh— Jaz (@_AllThatJaz) July 30, 2017
lil duvals dumb ass went on the breakfast club and made "jokes" about killing trans women and misgendered Janet Mock— Reclaiming My Time (@YonceHaunted) July 30, 2017
Janet Mock being "interviewed" by those morons at The Breakfast Club has disaster written all over it— Roosevelt Howard (@Howa14Roosevelt) July 30, 2017
Janet Mock shouldn't have went on the breakfast club. You try to be patient and teach these ashy niggas and they shit on you a week later— tootsie roll (@deadmetaphore) July 30, 2017
Breakfast club invited Janet Mock to get more listeners, used her star power & then allowed someone else to joke a/b killing women like her.— TheBlackDorianGray (@QueeringPsych) July 30, 2017
Lil Duval saying something transphobic about Janet Mock while the breakfast club laughs along? pic.twitter.com/m29JMzOYJS— *Sookie TRAPhouse (@ThatsSoTunde) July 30, 2017
See what Janet Mock had to say during LGBT Pride, above.
(Photo: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)