WATCH: Karl Stefanovic apologises for on-air ‘tranny’ jokes


Karl Stefanovic Apologises Tranny Jokes

The Today Show host Karl Stefanovic has apologised for a segment on Thursday morning in which he repeatedly used the word “tranny” while discussing a reporter’s mugging in Brazil.

Reporter Christine Ahern said the pair were on a beach in Rio when they “came across a group of transvestites”, who tried to rob them.

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Karl said: “A top TV reporter and her crew on assignment in glamorous Rio de Janeiro, enter a murder of transvestite muggers – I think that’s the collective,” using the name given to refer to a group of crows.

He introduced Christine using lyrics from the disco anthem “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and said her cameraman Glenn is “no stranger to the ways of the tranny” and wrapped up the segment by showing a mocked-up Wanted poster featuring Hugo Weaving’s character from the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Media watchdog GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, advises that “transvestite” is an antiquated term that should not be used “at all, unless someone specifically self-identifies that way”.

“Please note that while some transgender people may use ‘tranny’ to describe themselves, others find it profoundly offensive,” GLAAD says.

“The criteria for using these derogatory terms should be the same as those applied to vulgar epithets used to target other groups: they should not be used except in a direct quote that reveals the bias of the person quoted.”

Karl Stefanovic gives apology to transgender community

People took to social media to slam the segment as transphobic and insensitive, and on Friday morning’s show Karl gave a heartfelt apology and encouraged all Australians to educate themselves on transgender issues.

“I can be a complete tool, right?” Stefanovic asked to cheers from his crew.

“Yesterday I was worse, I was an ignorant tool. And when I say ‘ignorant’, I really mean it.

“By using the word ‘tranny’ I offended an awful lot of beautiful, sensitive people. I honestly didn’t know the negative and deeply hurtful impact that word has, not only on the LGBTQI community, but on their family and their friends.

“They told me to educate myself, I have started to and I encourage all of you to do the same.”

Watch Karl Stefanovic’s apology below:

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