Fox News has been accused of transphobia after it decided to play the Aerosmith track “Dude Looks Like A Lady” in an item about Chelsea Manning.
On its Fox and Friends morning show, the channel used the song alongside a split picture of Manning in both female and male clothing with the caption “Call Me Chelsea.”
Fox American Newsroom host Gregg Jarrett had already made his feelings clear on Friday, saying “I don’t do what Bradley Manning wants me to do.”
Anticipating a backlash he added: “People out there, don’t send me angry emails that I referred to him as Bradley and not Chelsea and him instead of her.”
In a statement, UK based Trans Media Watch said: “It is now widely understood that most trans people have consistent gender identities from early in their lives. Chelsea has said clearly that she has felt female since childhood. She is no less entitled to respect for that identity because it doesn’t match her appearance. She is no less entitled to respect for her chosen name than George Osborne or Jodie Foster. In the 21st Century, we expect the media to know better than to dismiss somebody’s identity just because they are trans.”
Chelsea Manning is at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and serving 35 years for leaking classified material to the website WikiLeaks. She was sentenced last Wednesday.
Unlike Fox News, other media outlets have attempted to be more respectful of Manning’s wishes.
“The Associated Press will henceforth use Pvt Chelsea E Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman,” it said in an advisory.