So I was watching The Daily Show online, and in the episode on 9/17/08 with Charlize Theron, Jon Stewart makes a really gross statement to the effect that trans people are ridiculous and hilarious and, most of all, DECEPTIVE. Obviously that sucks. You can watch the episode for yourself here
, (and beware--it will start playing right away) and if you see things the same way as I do, I urge you to go to the form on their site
. While I know it's unlikely I'll ever hear back, I wrote them a letter and will hope that I do. Here it is:
Dear Comedy Central,
I am a huge fan of the Daily Show and have been watching it for years. I recently saw an episode, however, where a comment was made that I can't let slide. At about the 2 and a half minute mark of this episode Jon Stewart says something like, "A sham, a travesty, a tranny!" When he says this in this context, the message conveyed is that transgender people are inherently deceptive (i.e. not "real" women or men) and that by nature they are hilarious and wrong. This is hurtful and untrue. I know that The Daily Show prides itself in both its progressive viewpoint and its ability to skewer people of all backgrounds evenly, but I strongly believe that this comment serves neither purpose. Transgender people have been fighting for basic civil rights for decades, and even in 2008 they--or, more accurately, we, since I am transgender--are victims of hate-based violence and murders at much higher rates than other minority populations in the U.S. While I realize that no one at Comedy Central or The Daily Show would ever support that kind of violence, comments like the one John Stewart made are part of a culture that condones it. As a longtime fan, I am upset at the possibility that I might have to stop watching the show to maintain my principles, so I hope that someone at Comedy Central can take a few moments to address this situation and make sure it doesn't happen in the future. Feel free to contact me if you would like a more thorough understanding of the issues.
(my cell phone number, which I actually gave them.)