Politics

Daily Show Under Fire For 'Transphobic' Tweet About Trump

| by Michael Howard

"The Daily Show" sparked outrage on social media after tweeting a joke about President Donald Trump transitioning to female.

The joke was presented in the form of a poll, asking Twitter users to select what would be the big news story of May 18.

"What news will drop Thursday between 5 and 6 p.m.?" the tweet said, according to the Daily Mail.

There were four options: "Trump uses Constitution as KFC napkin," "Comey drops a complete 'visual album,'" "Ivanka requests immunity" and "Donald Trump announces he is now Donna Trump."

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"The Daily Show" faced immediate backlash for the joke, with a number of Twitter users describing it as transphobic.

"Transgender people are not punchlines," one person wrote.

Someone else tweeted: "C'mon guys, using trans people as a punchline was hacky twenty years ago."

"Thanks for reminding us that transphobia is still a culturally acceptable punchline!" another responded.

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"SNL used homophobia to 'make fun' of Turmp and the Daily Show used transphobia today to the same ends," a third wrote. "There must be a better way."

Another commenter took a more somber tone: "I am trans and think that anytime you make a joke like that it only leads to discrimination, because hey, we're a joke, right?"

And another person identifying as transgender wrote: "It's using us as a punch line which directly contributes to a climate where other bigots think they can murder us without consequences."

The offending tweet, which the Daily Mail notes was posted on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia, has since been taken down. "The Daily Show" has not commented on the joke or the reaction it provoked.

Trevor Noah, who became the show's host after John Stewart left in 2015, is no stranger to controversy.

Shortly after it was announced that Noah would be taking over as host, he found himself in hot water over a number of jokes he had posted to Twitter in the preceding years.

"Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn't look [before] crossing but I still would have felt so bad in my German car," Noah wrote in 2009, according to The New York Times.

That joke led some to accuse the South African comic of anti-Semitism, while others labeled him misogynistic.

"'Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I'm sexy!' - fat chicks everywhere," he wrote in 2011.

After the tweets surfaced, Comedy Central issued a statement pushing back against Noah's critics.

"Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included," the network said. "To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central." 

Sources: Daily Mail, The New York Times / Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr

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