“This isn’t funny.”
A LGBT rights activist called out the use of a transphobic slur by a character in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” shortly after the Amazon web series debuted Friday evening.
Eliel Cruz, director of communications for an organization that combats violence against LGBTQ individuals, replied to a tweet on the show’s official Twitter account by criticizing the use of a “trans slur” in the third episode.
Cruz’s sentiments were echoed by many commenters on social media.
— Eliel Cruz (@elielcruz) September 1, 2018
“Did you actually pick up another tranny on Fremont street?” a character in the political thriller, which stars “The Office’s” John Krasinski, says during an episode titled “Black 22.”
“This just came out and I’m on the third episode and they use a trans slur. In 2018. As two trans women were murdered in the last 24 hours,” Cruz tweeted, likely referencing transgender women Dejanay L. Stanton and Vontashia Bell.
Conservatives and free speech advocates have pushed back against public outcries against material deemed to be offensive to the transgender community by arguing that such backlash is censorious political correctness. Many rallied to the defense of Dave Chapelle earlier this year when the comedian came under fire from the transgender community for making allegedly transphobic jokes on his Netflix stand-up special, “Equanimity.”
“I know with certain subject matters, it seems a little more raw or coarse,” comedian Joe DeRosa told The Washington Times in January. “That’s got to be the way it is. Otherwise, we have to start banning every movie or song that deals with any sort of uncomfortable subject.”
Transgender rights advocates would likely counter that heightened concerns about violence against trans individuals justify the community’s outrage.
The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBT civil rights advocacy group, tracked 28 violent deaths of transgender individuals in 2017, the most ever recorded, according to the organization’s website. This year, the HRC has catalogued 16 transgender people “fatally shot or killed by other means,” not including the deaths of Stanton and Bell.
It should be noted that while some advocacy organizations and media outlets have characterized rising reports of violence against trans people as an epidemic, it appears that no studies exist examining whether such increases might be explained by the spike in individuals who now identify as transgender.
In 2016, The Daily Beast reported that federal and state data revealed that the number of transgender adults in the United States, 1.4 million, was double the amount previously believed and that the figure was expected to rise in coming years.