Thursday, January 7, 2010

GLAAD & HRC Demand Apology From Letterman Over Transphobic Joke

David Letterman at the opening ceremony for th...
David Letterman's pathetic attempt at humor Tuesday night at the expense of Amanda Simpson, a trans woman appointed by President Obama as Technical Adviser at the Commerce Department, has put him in the cross hairs of The Gay and Lesian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Both groups have written letters to the "Late Show" host and to CBS calling on Letterman to apologize.

The joke, posted here yesterday depicts "Late Show" announcer Alan Kalter running screaming from the studio in a fit of trans panic after Dave announced Ms. Simpson's appointment.

HRC wrote, "The decision to ignore the fact that Ms. Simpson is incredibly well-qualified for this vital national security position and focus instead on her gender identity reflects transphobia.”

“You may not be aware that the punch line in your skit has been used as a defense in nearly every hate crime perpetrated against transgender people that has come to trial."

 The letter from GLAAD president Janet Barrios reads, “Amanda Simpson and transgender people want the same things all Americans do: to earn a living and be recognized for their contributions to society. Instead of using humor to raise awareness about the lives of transgender people, the show ridiculed the first transgender presidential appointee and one of the most vulnerable minorities in this country.”

“By promoting unfair and cruel reactions to transgender people, the David Letterman Show is feeding an epidemic of discrimination and violence that currently faces transgender Americans,”

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