GLAAD Slams Chelsea Lately’s Anti-Trans Chaz Bono Jokes


GLAAD has slammed Tuesday night’s episode of†Chelsea Handler’s E! Entertainment talk show Chelsea Lately over transphobic jokes used throughout the show regarding Chaz Bono’s recently announced appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

The transphobic jokes started right from the word go when, according to GLAAD, Handler included in her opening remarks the following:

“The Dancing with the Stars cast has been announced and, this is season 13, it includes Chaz Bono, otherwise known as Chastity Bono [laughs] before she got her penis [laughs]Ö.”

This was soon followed by jokes from comedians Bill Bellamy and Jo Koy (the latter of which has previously had to apologize over anti-gay jokes):

BB: I mean who do you vote off? Him or her? I donít know which one you want to do. [laughs]

JK: Does, does he/she have both parts? Like, like heís like ‘I donít want to use my penis, let’s use the vagina tonight.’ Like [laughs] I donít know.

Chaz Bono, son of superstar Cher, has been very public about his gender transition.†Chaz, 42, began the process in 2009 and went public with the decision to transition in June of 2010, eventually releasing a documentary called Becoming Chaz about the experience.

GLAAD praised ABC following the announcement that Chaz would be appearing on Dancing with the Stars, saying that ABC had broken new ground with its inclusive line up:

“At a time when transgender representation in the media is sorely lacking, Chaz Bono joining the cast of a series like Dancing With the Stars is a tremendous step forward for the public to recognize that transgender people are an important part of the fabric of American culture. His documentary, ‘Becoming Chaz,’ was a great chance for viewers to meet the man behind the headlines. Appearing on such a high profile show will allow millions of Americans to get to know him in a whole new light.”

This puts into context why GLAAD has strongly condemned the transphobic jokes used by Chelsea Handler and her guests:

Of the four people onstage, [Fortune†Feimster] was the only one to make a joke about Bono that didn’t simply mock his transgender identity. †The “humor” utilized by the others hinged solely on using both male and female pronouns to describe Bono and reducing his identity down to anatomy in order to ridicule him. †In doing so, they are effectively making a mockery of anyone who identifies as transgender and contributing to the already dangerous and hostile climate many transgender people face.

GLAAD is calling for Handler and the show’s creators to issue an immediate apology and asks that they invite Bono and other high profiled trans people onto the show in order to hear from them about their struggles and achievements.

In related news, Cher has taken to Twitter to defend her son against negative comments following the announcement that he would be appearing in this year’s Dancing with the Stars, writing: “lovelies! Chaz is Being Viciously Attacked on Blogs & Message boards about being on DWTS!This is Still America right ? It took guts 2 do it.” You can read more here.

Related Reading:

Cher Voices Support for Transgender Son Chaz

CA Senate Passes Gender Identity Protections

MI Republican Introduces Anti-Trans Prisoner Bill

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Greg in Hollywood.


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Donna B.
Donna B6 years ago

I respect Chaz and his decisions. He is very brave for being on Dancing With The Stars. They made a GREAT decision by inviting him on there!! People who make jokes about him have very sad lives themselves and need to grow up. You Go Chaz!!!

Jane H.
Jane H6 years ago

I'm so grateful for GLAAD!

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan6 years ago

Why are people such biggots, I am straight as can be, ones preferance is there's , cruel jokes show how stupid they are.why can't we all live in Peace.I have friends that are gay that is there choice.

Cheryl M. D.
Cheryl Dare6 years ago

David A:
being ignorant and bigoted is an equal opportunity pastime of many children disguised as adults. Any igmo can say derogatory things about any person and think it's all a joke. Not just LGBT's. Any group or individual can be a target of these unfunny remarks. And often are.

Cheryl M. D.
Cheryl Dare6 years ago

Ignorance disguised as humor. So what else is new? Some people just never grow up. Derogatory remarks are not funny; they are damaging to both the butt of the "Joke" and to the "joker him/herself. If one doesn't pay to see these people, buy their books, see them on talk shows, etc. Then we vote with our feet and maybe the "joker" learns. Raise a stink while you're boycotting the "joker".
Remember the days when screamer headlines on tabloids spouted that Chastity Bono was Gay? How wrong they were! As usual.

Roxane Connor
Roxane Connor6 years ago

Don't they realize by making these comments they are only showing their own stupidity?

Janice Redinger
Janice Redinger6 years ago

Don't these folks have anything else to make fun of?
Miss Chelsea needs to take a good hard look in the mirror. If you were "only teasing' then you are one sick B$%^h girl.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

If any screwball, thinks that Chaz Bono made this decision, lightly, they have lost their mind.
There are morals, but, then, again, some people don't appear to possess them.
A laugh at any cost, is not, necessarily funny. Sometimes, you just look stupid.

Yvette S.
Past Member 6 years ago

William Y. Agree completely. Thank you!