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Video: David Letterman attacked for skit on Obama-appointed trans woman

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  1. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 2:56pm

    that’s funny.

    No it’s not Transphobic, it’s Transphobicphobic or, to put it another way, extracting the urine from such reactions.

  2. OrtharRrith 6 Jan 2010, 3:42pm

    Not funny. It may have been intended to poke fun at transphobic reactions but in reality it won’t be seen that way by the vast majority of the viewing public. They’ll see it as “it’s okay to laugh at trans people” at best, at worst it’ll be “Well yeah, I’d run off and be sick if I found out my girlfriend was born male”, there-by reinforcing prejudice. Very childish and not very funny at all.

  3. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 4:00pm

    so ortharruth you admit that it was intended to poke fun at such reactions? What would be a better way of presenting this?

    We would live in a sad and boring world if every pronouncement, every joke has to be checked for every possible interpretation.

  4. It’s not funny but I don’t see it as offensive either

  5. I took as he fancied Amanda but he’s straight so the joke was on him not Amanda.

  6. I think that David Letterman, especially, should be uber careful when approving his skits. He has, apparently, been less than conscientious in reviewing many of his humor pieces – insinuating child rape is funny, for example.

    Perhaps we should all realize that humor can be used for positive and negative purposes. I would assume that this piece is meant to poke fun at transphobia, but it missed the key resolution where the concern is derided.

  7. “I took as he fancied Amanda but he’s straight so the joke was on him not Amanda.”

    Yes and that’s the point, Amanda is a woman. That’s insulting to her womanhood, it’s the same as calling any other woman who was elect to office a man and running off stage. It’s childish and disrespectful.

  8. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 6:59pm

    but J: we’re supposed to think the reaction is childish.

  9. Would he do the same skit with:

    “What Obamas black? Oh no!”

    That skit is deliberately designed to reinforce stereotypes its not funny. He did not even have the grace to wish Amanda well. If you listen to the start Letterman calls Amanda him and that is disgusting.

  10. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 10:40pm

    no he dosn’t Abi.

    No he’d not do the same joke for Obama as there’s no humor to be found in that is there? There’s not a stereotype to be evoked and attitudes to mock as there is with Trans People. You don’t, in the parlance of stupid men, go to bed with some chick to find out that she’s President of the USA.

  11. Pumpkin Pie 7 Jan 2010, 2:10am

    Wut. Spam filter ate my post. Here it is again:-

    “an insulting bit of anti-trans middle school assclownery”

    If I didn’t know what this debate was about, I would have instantly sided with the person who came up with that delicious quote. Just because it is delicious.

    But I do know what this debate is about, so I’m siding with him because I agree.

    Do you remember how sad and 1984-like the world became when they banned black-face “comedy”? No? Neither do I, because it was s**t, and unfunny, and is not missed in the slightest. Let’s hope stuff like this meets the same fate. Trust me, it’s not part of a slippery slope towards thought crime. Insensitive tosh like this already gets banned for subjects like race or child molestation, and…nope, I don’t see any gestapo wandering around, do you?

  12. Couldn’t see any humour in it at all. Must be an American thing.

  13. I didn’t find it at all funny. It’s not very well done. It comes off as a cheap laugh at the expense of someone’s dignity. Moreover we’re invited to laugh at the notion that a man has inadvertently had a relationship with another male as if that’s some untold horror. It’s as homophobic as transphobic.

    To quibble with a commenter above Letterman does not use the male pronoun to refer to Amanda. He uses ‘he’ to refer to Obama as far as I can tell. Credit where it’s due I suppose.

  14. Gwen Sanford 7 Jan 2010, 2:37pm

    David Letterman should be hung by his “short hairs” for that skit. Even his reaction was homophobic. As a transgendered woman, I feel very insulted by Letterman, but I don’t stay up late enough to watch him anyway.

    I congratulate Amanda for achieving the level of education and experience that qualifies her for the appointment to the Department of Commerce. And, I would never criticize President Obama for not doing more for the GLBT Community. He has more on his plate each day, than any other US President has ever had during an entire term in office. One may not agree with his decisions, but he has more information regarding them than most of the rest of us. I believe President Obama is the most unbiased individual of anyone in office yet, and give him credit for the “new direction” he is trying to lead us. Unfortunately, politics weighs heavily, and President Obama does not have the freedom to always do what he feels is right. But, “little steps” works, and the GLBT Community is far ahead of what it was just ten years ago. The more we, as GLBT individuals, educate others about our identity and demonstrate that we have the same “needs and wants” of everyone on earth, the more we will be accepted as the normal individuals we are.

    Again, Amanda Simpson, I salute you, for your accomplishments. You go girl… And, President Obama, I salute you, for selecting Amanda Simpson for the position in spite of the fact that you will take heat for it. Good job…

  15. lettermans not funny at the best of times. this is even worse. congrats you humour vaccum.

  16. Simon Murphy 7 Jan 2010, 5:39pm

    Well I laughed my red socks off!

  17. theotherone 7 Jan 2010, 7:52pm

    I laughed too Simon. i must be a bad Trannie…

  18. OrtharRrith 7 Jan 2010, 9:17pm

    so ortharruth you admit that it was intended to poke fun at such reactions? What would be a better way of presenting this?

    Given the fact that trans people are killed and that the killers use the “I freaked out when I discovered she used to be male” defence in court, the only way is not to make tasteless jokes out of it!

    We would live in a sad and boring world if every pronouncement, every joke has to be checked for every possible interpretation.

    Jokes don’t need to be checked for every posible interpretation, common sense should tell the writer or performer – especially one who’s been in the business for as long as Letterman – what’s offensive and insensitive, failing that a simple 5 mins check online will tell anyone that looks, that such a joke is in bad taste. It’s not hard.

  19. theotherone 8 Jan 2010, 7:38pm

    but the joke was poking fun of the reaction so I do not consider it tasteless.

    One of the things humor does is to highlight issues like this therefore if we are to envisage a joke that mocks Transphobia how do we do it without showing Transphobic in operation?

    People aren’t ‘protected’ by burying our heads in the sand and pretending that the world’s nice, they’re protected by highlighting prejudice and challenging it which is what this joke did.

  20. I thought it was kind of funny, especially since Letterman is so lame these days. Some people have no sense of humor. You expect to be treated with kids gloves and you advocate for censorship of everyone who doesn’t think just like you. Get a life! It was clearly a joke aimed at those who would freak out over a non-issue. I couldn’t help but notice the NY auidence didn’t even chuckle when they flashed the girl’s pic up on the screen. Even I cracked a smile!

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