Saturday Night Live has come under fire for its last week’s “Estro-Maxx” mock commercial, which GLAAD says was a “dangerous and blatantly anti-transgender segment… the punch line of which was the lives of countless transgender people across the country.” NBC didn’t respond to our request for comment.
More from GLAAD’s statement:
The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women. This segment cannot be defended as “just a joke” because there was no “joke” to speak of. The attempted comedy of the skit hinges solely on degrading the lives and experiences of transgender women. Holding people up for ridicule simply on the basis of their identity fuels a hurtful climate and puts people in danger, especially given how infrequently the media shines a fair and accurate light on the lives of transgender people. “The violence, discrimination and harassment that transgender Americans experience each and every day is no laughing matter,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “Saturday Night Live is a touchstone of American comedy, but Saturday’s unfunny skit sends a destructive and dehumanizing message.”
So is the sketch transphobic? Of course it is. The argument that it’s simply satirizing the tropes of drug commercials doesn’t hold water: If it’s supposed to make fun of pharmaceutical commercials, then why are all the laugh lines at the parts that just make fun of transwomen’s bodies?
Why can’t people just take a joke? Because transwomen’s experiences are only ever held up as jokes (with very rare exceptions), and it’s exhausting. What’s more hilarious than a man with breasts! Lots and lots and lots of things.
I thought the “Estro-Maxx” commercial was lazy and unfunny at best, PopWatchers. What about you?