Laverne Cox Perfectly Shuts Down Comedian, Popular Radio Show For Transphobic Remarks

July 31st 2017

Ngozi Ahanotu

There's nothing funny about killing a transgender woman.

On Friday, comedian Lil’ Duval visited New York’s Power 105.1 morning radio show, "The Breakfast Club," to discuss several trending news topics, including President Donald Trump's ban on transgender people from serving in the military.

While the comedian initially declined to discuss the issue, the conversation took a turn when DJ Envy, another host on the radio show, asked Duval how he would react if a woman he was dating later told him she's transgender.

This may sound messed up and I don’t care: she dying,” the comedian said.

Prior to that, Duval told the hosts that when it comes to transgender women, “that ain’t a girl, that’s a boy.” Duval made several other comments on transgender women as hosts Angela Yee and Charlamagne appeared to try between laughs to redirect his comments.

Some viewed it as a comedian making his round of jokes, but activists and allies for the LGBT community immediately expressed outrage and launched the #boycottbreakfastclub hashtag.

Activists publicly confronted Charlamange over the weekend, alleging that he was reinforcing rhetoric that endangers transgender women of color.

Actress and Trans activist Laverne Cox had an emotional response to the Lil' Duval interview and wrote a series of tweets Sunday addressing it.

The "Orange is the New Black" star went on to share how transgender people are still being treated negatively.

Cox makes an important point—transgender people are being killed in record numbers this year. So far in 2017, 15 transgender women have been murdered, with all of them being women of color. Most recently, 28-year-old Ebony Morgan was murdered on July 2 and the search for her killer is still ongoing.

However, the number could possibly be higher, as many transgender victims are misgendered and misidentified in the media when their murders are covered.

On Monday, author and activist Janet Mock—who on the show one week prior to discuss trans issues—wrote an op-ed for Allure about how Lil' Duval's comments could cause real harm to transgender women of color.

"Until cis people — especially heteronormative men — are able to interrogate their own toxic masculinity and realize their own gender performance is literally killing trans women, cis men will continue to persecute trans women and blame them for their own deaths. If you think trans women should disclose and “be honest,” then why don’t you work on making the damn world safe for us to exist in the first place? The “I’d kill a woman if I found out” rhetoric is precisely why so many women hold themselves so tight — the stigma and shame attached to our desires need to be abolished."

Duval shared the following tweet on Monday morning, indicating he had no plans on apologizing.