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Will David Letterman Answer HRC + GLAAD’s Demands to Apologize For That Trans Joke?

As was to be expected, both GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign — which, you should know, represents the entire LGBT community — are harping on CBS over David Letterman’s not-exactly-funny transgender joke, which made fun of Obama’s transgender appointee Amanda Simpson. But what is each organization “demanding” from the media giant?

Well, GLAAD is just “reaching out to CBS Late Show with David Letterman with our concerns about this transphobic joke.” That means they’re calling up CBS’s media relations department to see if they’ll issue an “I’m sorry” statement that GLAAD can use in its next press release.

HRC, meanwhile, wrote an open letter to the network, which reads in part: “Your skit affirmed and encouraged a prejudice against transgender Americans that keeps many from finding jobs, housing, and enjoying freedoms you and your writers take for granted every day. We ask that you apologize publicly to Ms. Simpson and the transgender community for this unfortunate episode.”

Well at least HRC is asking for something. And an apology — a public one, no less — is pretty deserving here. And while Letterman might be yearning to avoid more controversy, we’d argue that being branded a transphobe is the best way to divert attention to the fact that he’s a womanizer.

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  • Fitz

    If you have HRC and GLAAD upset, then you are a good person.

  • IzzyLuna

    Good Lord. You’re kidding me. GLAAD needs to have a sense of humor about certain things. This was funny. It wasn’t offensive…it was funny. I found it to be someone complimentary to the trans-woman they talked about. The joke is set it to be that she’s so hot that a man slept with her…never knowing she was trans.

    Someone at GLAAD needs to get laid and lighten up.

  • Michael Dean Montgomery Brockway

    Below is my comment to Queerty’s other article about the David Letterman trans joke “controversy” that I think is even more appropriate here. Dead horse…move on. This “controversy” is only important if you are LGBT website with nothing substantive to report on, an LGBT organization trying to appear like it’s doing something to justify its fundraising, or a self-appointed Harvey Milk wannabe trying to grasping for publicity.

    The previous comment (slightly edited punctuation and dropped word):

    Um…David Letterman makes money by making people laugh. It’s his job. I challenge anyone, including CCCole, to write a joke about Amanda Simpson’s accomplishments that anyone would find humorous.

    Humor is often based on tragedy. Why was President Obama laughing his ass off watching scenes from “The Producers” during the Kennedy Center Honors? Is the death of millions of Jews, homosexuals, and people with disabilities funny? Yes, in a certain context it is. That is a quirk in the human condition.

    I’m a 55 year old gay male with multiple disabilities. I encounter jokes about gays, age, and disabilities on a daily basis. Does it bother me? No. I have tough skin and can dish right back. I have gained acceptance from my toughness, not from whining.

    David Letterman is an easy target. Some of us hope we can wring an apology out of him, although that is looking quite unlikely at this time. If anything, this “controversy” that was created by the LGBT has made us look worse in the public eye than he does. When we cannot change society, the government, or the corporations that oppresses, we seek an easy target and hope for some miniscule victory to celebrate. Yet it does nothing to change the status quo.

    We have a habit of putting so much time and energy into worthless efforts. For example: The National Equality March. WTF was that? Did it improve anything for the LGBT? Within a month of the March, the Equality Across America website, which was supposedly going to be the focus of the efforts that March attendees were being “trained” for, stopped being maintained. Meanwhile, urgent marriage equality initiatives have failed. Instead of working to gain real legal rights, money and energy was wasted on a lame rally that very few people appeared to attend to it’s completion.

    We need to stop wasting our efforts on meaningless little battles that don’t mean shit to anyone just because we might wring some small victory from it. Full legal equal rights (which, I am sorry to say, will not change our lives that much…but that’s a whole other topic) should be our focus, not a some stupid joke that we can use to score drama points.

  • T2nDC

    Shouldn’t GLAAD and HRC be working on something much more important? Like, our equality?

    We need to replace GLAAD and HRC with some new ideas and new energy. There track record is all failure and no hope for the future. Don’t support their less-than-mediocrity performance.

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