Piers Morgan and Transgender Guest Janet Mock Get Into Heated Exchange During Second Interview (Video)

Morgan was “peeved” at angry response to first appearance, while Mock says first interview on CNN's “Piers Morgan Live” was “false advertising” and “infotainment”

Transgender advocate Janet Mock returned to CNN's “Piers Morgan Live” on Wednesday to defend tweets she sent on Tuesday night that criticized the show for “sensationalizing” her story and prompted hundreds of followers to accuse host Piers Morgan of transphobia.

At the start of the contentious segment (watch the full interview below), Morgan said that he invited Mock for her to explain why he'd had “an infuriating 24 hours” since the Tuesday interview ran.

Also read: Transgender Advocate Janet Mock Says Piers Morgan Sensationalizes Her Story

“Today I have spent 12 hours being viciously abused by the transgender community, egged on by your own tweeting last night that you were somehow very dismayed by the way the interview had gone,” Morgan said.

The host said he was particularly “peeved” by the fact that Mock had not expressed any sort of discomfort with the questions at the time (the interview was taped four days prior to Tuesday's airing), and had shaken his hand and thanked him for the interview, only to publicly bash it when it aired.


“Well I'm sorry that you feel offended,” Mock said. “I think people in the trans community feel equally as offended.”

Also read: Transgender Guest Janet Mock Returning to ‘Piers Morgan Live’ Amid Charges of Insensitivity

Mock took issue with the fact that Morgan constantly discussed her pre-transition gender and that the show's lower-third read, “Was a boy until 18,” through most of the interview. Mock, who went on the show to promote her new memoir detailing life as a trans woman, said dwelling on her past and transition distracted from the serious issues the transgender community currently faces.

“But that's exactly why I had you on the show!” Morgan said. “That's why I promoted your book! That's why I told everybody to go and read the damn thing. So I ask you again, why have I been vilified for being transparently supportive of you? I don't get it.”

Also read: CNN Insider: ‘Zucker Has a Problem at 9 P.M.’ (Exclusive)

Morgan said he didn't want the exchange to be a “hostile interview” because he respected Mock, but asked why an article in Marie Claire magazine that Mock supposedly approved contained language where she, like Morgan's show, said she was born a boy. He repeatedly asked why it was so offensive to just say that Mock was physically a boy before undergoing gender reassignment surgery, while being respectful of her advocacy and experiences.

“Being offensive and being kind are not mutually exclusive things. I think that we can be completely – have great intentions and be good people, but also be ignorant and have a lack of understanding of these issues,” she said.

Also read: 11 Transgender Stars Weigh In on Trans Images in Entertainment (Exclusive)

“Our exchange was completely fine, but when you package something with the headline, ‘Until 18 was a boy,’ and also say, ‘Formerly a man’ … that is false advertising, and that is infotainment,” Mock added, saying that the issue of gender identity is too nuanced to communicate in such a short space.

Morgan maintained throughout the interview that he did not use offensive language and that his questions did not merit the “social media firestorm of abuse” from Mock's supporters.

Watch the full interview here:

  • edgar

    thank god he`s over there and not over here… but ! having watched the initial interview she is out of order… he did nothing wrong as far as the discussion went. cannot stand the slime but he did not act as she accuses… she needs to chill out and not bite the friends hand that helps

  • dannyjude63

    I'm a gay man who sides with Piers. I don't understand her attitude. He did nothing wrong. She even said that he's not trans-gendered. Well, right! So don't expect him to look at EVERY single issue and attitude exactly as she does.

    • christian_transgender

      I used to trust gay men, but now I trust straight men far more. Why? One person called me “freak”……he was a gay man. Another person felt offended discussing sexuality….a gay man. I don't date gay men, so the subject of the discussion was never him……..strike two.

      The problem here relates to perspective. “born a man”, a boy,,,,,,,,,,are not considered proper ways to discuss with trans persons. The correct term is “born physically male.”

      • dannyjude63

        If a couple of experiences is enough for you to make broad generalizations like that, then perhaps your opinion isn't very valuable.

        • christian_transgender

          …and if it were but opinion, you would be correct. Sadly, and I do mean sadly, my previous default trust in the (L)GB, has evaporated. I now have a higher bar than I do with straight persons who have had ample equivalent opportunity, chronologically speaking, to also violate my trust. Yes, one person can represent the viewpoint of thousands more, just ask radio stations that host talk shows.

          Simply stated: yes, I now trust only trans persons, but it is not “de” fault of everyone, just of these two bozos who happen to be gay. You will find other trans persons standing in full agreement, based on similar experiences. We have much in common, as to sexual preference but I guess the differences are enough that we are equally misunderstood by everyone who isn't trans. I understand this as much as I now understand who I can and can't trust.

      • Yuge

        So, being bi, does that mean you'd only half trust me?

        • christian_transgender

          Of course! Also being bi (and bi-gendered)…I would trust but half of you, a half I shall not disclose for fear of offending some of my gay brethren ;). Hey, you tossed the question!

          DISCLAIMER: Although this forum provides a valuable service in honor of free speech, which said speech can and will become derisive, indecisive, and divisive, under no circumstances can it guaranteed the absence of sexual innuendo. In the event such that offense is taken, said free speech will never preclude the right to exhibit just as publicly, reciprocated offense by “cu-licking” the reply button directly below but slightly to the right of said “offensive” comment. :D

      • pandcoac

        It's overblowing of the use of semantics that confuse people not familiar with Trans issues, many people do not realise there is a minefield between sex and gender vocabulary even if they are supportive, it is the Trans community responsibility to educate and challenge assumptions on opportunity, however Mock never challenged Piers in that first interview over his language, and appeared to speak from both sides of the mouth when suddenly adopting a hostile manner on twitters when she appeared contented on the show, implying she was oppressed on her first appearance. Her behaviour was very disingenuous and raises a lot of eyebrows about the nature of honest interaction and debate. Piers is a ****head aswell but Mock does a disservice to her cause

        • legitimatedebate

          Ms. Mock was justified in expecting Mr. Morgan to understand the semantics, and the ideas behind them that make them so important. She wrote a whole book explaining her personal experience and the context of trans issues surrounding her life. He was supposedly promoting her book and supporting her. HE DID NOT READ HER BOOK.

          It is not the responsibility of a marginalized community to educate people from other communities. And you know what? Ms. Mock spent three years doing it anyway. And then MR. MORGAN DID NOT READ HER BOOK.

          Mock explained why she didn't challenge Piers in the first interview. She was under a lot of pressure and inexperienced in receiving interviews. There was a lot to think about since she was trying to promote her book, be cordial, advocate for trans rights, represent multiple marginalized communities, and simultaneously speak both intelligently and in a way that the type of people who watch Piers Morgan can understand.

          She also explained that most of her anger was based on the words on-screen, which she could not see during her interview. She saw them afterward.

          She was entirely honest in her interaction by explaining why she did what she did, that she was sorry for how it affected Mr. Morgan, and why people were up in arms over his offensive wording and interview focus. MR. MORGAN DIDN'T LISTEN.

          He gets no credit. Not a bit. Bad allyship is almost worse than intentional oppression because it leads people to believing that they're incapable of harming the community they claim to support. And being dickheads.

      • legitimatedebate

        Not disputing you because you have every right to explain and define your experience as you wish! :)

        I live in the SF Bay Area, and a lot more often I hear, “assigned male at birth.” I like it because it means that doctors assume a baby is 100% male or 100% female (or intersex, but that's a whole other subject!) based on the baby's genitalia. Since sex is actually made up of a ton of different factors, including the sex of your brain (which I like to emphasize is biological), I think a more accurate assignment of a person's sex would be based on that neurological sex. So a trans woman who wishes to physically transition could be called both “female” AND “assigned male at birth.”

  • medley708

    why do we bother to put up with the freaks of nature. especially when they are wrong and try to be right. Mock is a good last name. don't even bother with people like this. it was all nonsense to create more exposure at the cost of Piers Morgan.

    • Lucid_Capitalist

      In this case, who do you think the freak of nature is and why? I can understand the debate over being right or wrong concerning Morgan's behavior… but someone being a freak of nature is a different topic all together.

      • medley708

        her false accusations, her comments, her lies and just about everything she said about Piers Morgan was untrue. she used and abused him to get more airtime and attention through lies and falsehoods. it was like talking to a freak who does not listen. a sad situation to tell him how to run his program.

    • legitimatedebate

      2-5% of the American population is transgender. 2% of the American population work on farms or ranches. 2% of the American population thought the Mayan Apocolypse would occur. 2% of the American population is vegan.

      It's highly likely that you belong in some category of people which are relatively uncommon. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be treated like a human being.

      • medley708

        I don't even care about her in the least. it was a behavior problem. Piers Morgan helped her and she turned on him. her excuses were flimsy and inaccurate toward Piers Morgan. that is what makes her a freak. she used him and his show for attention.

        • legitimatedebate

          I don't think anybody buys that you didn't intend to call trans people freaks in the first place. Lying about it instead of apologizing won't help you get over your guilt.

          Piers Morgan helped Janet Mock and the entire trans community by having her on the show, and that was good of him. She thanked him for it.

          He also hurt her and the entire trans community by sensationalizing trans people's experiences and focusing on their bodies, both in the interview and through the bottom-of-the-screen wording.

          If he was a better supporter, he would have either read her book or admitted that he didn't read her book so she could help fill him in. He was too full of himself and hurt by the Twitter comments (which he also probably didn't read many of) to listen to her. She gave him an apology, her reasoning for not calling him out on the show, her reason for calling him out afterward, and an appreciation of his poorly-executed but good intentions. He shut down and kept whining like a baby.

          I agree 100% that she used the show for attention. Trans issues deserve attention. Trans people are constantly discriminated against in the housing and job markets. Many trans people can't access the treatments they need (For some people, hormones are absolutely a medical necessity). Rates of suicide for trans people are shamefully high. Trans people, especially trans women of color, are verbally and physically assaulted too often. People are killed. Often, in horribly gruesome ways.

          So I'm glad he had her on the show. I wish he would have given her time to talk about important things, rather than what she ended up having to talk about.

    • Yuge

      Yeah, I agree- oh, wait. I thought you were referring to inbred transphobic nutjobs.

  • Dick Cabesa

    Janet Mock is a Dumb Assk…. She is only making a situation of this because she wants attention… Pierce Morgan did not do anything wrong in his interview with her… Transgender people are messed up in the head from the start so you must expect this type of behavior from them…

    • Yuge

      Transphobic people are messed up in the head from the start so you must expect this type of behavior from them.*

      Fixed that for you.

  • Aidan

    No, we transgender people are not “messed up in the head from the start”. We are misunderstood, and we are just trying to let other cisgender people understand who we are. We are not confused. We are not deranged. We are not “poseurs.” We are human, too.

    Cisgender people do not have to deal with random strangers asking about their genital status and then refuting their gender identity…because you're not on hormone replacement therapy, because you haven't had “the surgery”. Cisgender people don't have to put up with people disclosing their past as a certain gender identity that they don't agree with…to other random strangers. Cisgender people don't have to worry about being safe in a public restroom. They don't worry about being addressed correctly without having to give an additional backstory on why you are to refer to us with the pronouns that you probably don't think “match” with how we look.

    Take a walk in our shoes before you think that Ms. Mock was out of line. It's what we have to fight for every. Single. Day. We are NOT girls who were boys, or boys who were girls, or non-binary individuals who were girls. We are human, too.

    And like everyone else, we have the right to be introduced in a language that AFFIRMS our identity, rather than be singled out for being different because something that was on a birth certificate says otherwise.

    And no, I don't speak for the whole trans* community. This is how I see it, based on my narrative.

    Buy me a cup of tea or two before even CONSIDERING asking me how the hospital assigned me at birth. It should be a private issue.

    • roy

      any normative position may be rightfully deconstructed.

    • jfo

      Aidan – here's the unfortunate reality the trans community continually fails to get it. You can't demand understanding, while lacking your own understanding of everyone else. it's hypocrisy…you've got your own drama nailed down, but do you have everyone elses? How much do you understand about the Amish, for example…and should it matter that you do understand them, in order to believe they have the right to live freely and peacefully in this world?
      The truth is Aidan, I don't know if i'll ever understand the life of a transperson. I don't know that I have to in order to believe you ought to have equal rights, same as everyone else.
      Frankly, Aidan…i've got enough to worry about in my own life that I don't need to spend most of my free time “educating” myself about you and your plight. That's a hard truth that I wish more people would understand, including gay people. Fight for equality in the eyes of the law…because beyond that, you're just fighting a losing battle. You're going to lose more ally's than you'll gain by reminding them how much they don't get it…newsflash, DUH. The trans experience is yours and yours alone…we'll never get it. I never expect a devout heterosexual pentecostal to understand why I am gay and why I think that's ok. All I ask, is that they don't legislate their morality against me or you.
      If that's not “supportive” enough for you…well, shoot…your road is going to be long and lonely. Best of luck

      • legitimatedebate

        That attitude is really saddening to me. Yes, continually educating yourself on every issue affecting every community would be an impossible and futile task. That doesn't mean you should be closed off when you get the chance to learn something.

        If you have a trans person right in front of you explaining something important about their lives, you should be listening. Especially if you are the host of a mainstream cable news show that reaches thousands of people.

      • Mbwayauhuru

        This is the single best post I have read regarding the issues surrounding anyone in the LGBT community. Let me say from the start that many of my closest friends and house-mates over the years have been from the LGBT community and thankfully, none have tried to force feed me there “understanding” of what it is like to be them. Instead, if and when I had a question they would try and answer as well as possible given their own limited perspective. We would and still do discuss who they are dating (or at this age, when they are getting married… hooray), any difficulties or triumphs they have at work, and all the little stuff that makes up a full life. I don't see them as being LGBT, they are just my friend with the same human flaws and gifts that make each of us interesting.

        More often than not, we will find ourselves baffled at demands of minority groups to be better understood. Simply put, why should I even waste my time treating someone in such a myopic manner? Isn't a person the summation of all their qualities and experiences? As a White Russian American Male married to a Black Africa Female, do I need to spend my time trying to make people understand what it is like to be in an inter-racial marriage? Personally, I think pigeon holing a persons experience into a particular category diminishes the wealth of experience they have. None of us will ever know what it is like to walk in another persons shoes. The best we can do is vote in favor of equal treatment under the law and demand that all those who would impinge upon a persons life, liberty or pursuit of happiness be held accountable.

        In reference to the Piers Morgan interview, I think the transgender community needs to stop yelling fire when there are no real flames.

  • legitimatedebate

    - She appreciated him asking her to be on his show.

    - She apologized for the way her tweet led to his feelings about feeling ‘abused’ by the trans community and its allies on twitter.

    - She explained multiple times that she was not born a boy.

    - She explained why she felt uncomfortable calling Piers out in the initial interview.

    - She explained why she felt she needed to address the issue, especially after seeing the headlines they displayed in the segment.

    She explained all of this within the first two minutes of the ten-minute interview. If he had listened to her, he would have both understood her point of view and felt validated in his poorly-executed but good intentions.

    They could have spent the next eight minutes discussing actual trans issues.

    Instead, he kept bringing up the Marie Claire piece which she said she didn't write. He ignored her explanation of how the information in her book was different. He repeatedly interrupted her with the same question even though she was in the process of answering his question.

    All of this could have been avoided if he had done his job and read her book in the first place.

  • Yuge

    I kind of feel like they're both over-reacting to a degree. Still, they seemed pretty civil compared to some of the other ‘heated exchanges’ I've seen on the news.

    I feel like he's got good intentions, and I think this is basically an argument of semantics. By ‘boy’ he clearly means ‘physically male', rather than to mean that she identified as a boy. He wasn't in the right, but it seems that at least his heart was in the right place.

    On the other than, he seriously should have just apologized for the slip, corrected himself, and moved on with things. That would have been the quickest way to stop people form being upset with him, and move on to more important matters of trans rights.

  • mikethebikester

    I was born ordinary, but after 50 years of life, I decided I wanted to be Tour de France champion, so I am, right? That's my identity. It was Lance Armstrong's too, and he had a little more evidence than me of it, but is still considered a pretender.

    • legitimatedebate

      If you're comparing deciding to be a Tour de France champion to ‘deciding to be a woman,’ that's a false comparison. Why would someone choose to be transgender? Life is really fucking hard for transgender people. They have to deal with people who not only don't understand them, but don't care to understand them.

      You could have been born transgender. Then your life would be really fucking hard, and you'd have to deal with ignorant people pretending that they can argue about your identity when they have never actually done any research about trans identities.

  • Kim

    This is a no win situation… you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. I'm even more confused then before about transgender women/men b/c of this woman.

    • legitimatedebate

      Do you have questions? If you ask them, I'm sure you'll get answers.

      To address your implied question, Ms. Mock is a woman. She has always been a woman. The fact that she was born with a penis doesn't mean she was born a boy.

      Sex (chromosomes, genitalia, hormones, neurochemistry, etc) is a separate thing from gender (behaviors, interests, clothing, societal roles, etc), just like it's a separate thing from sexual orientation.

      At some point, I was under the impression that all men were sexually attracted to women and all women were sexually attracted to men. Then I learned that not everyone was straight. I was able to accept that gender and sexuality were different. It was harder to understand and accept that gender and sex were different, but now I do.

      • mike rose

        God!, the very God of all creation made (Him) a male. The bible calls these things that society refers to as gender reassignment, mutilation. They are also sodomites, their conscience has been seared and they do not know the difference between love and lust.

        • legitimatedebate

          I personally don't believe in God, but regardless of whether anyone gets credit for it, the set-up of the world is extremely complex. That's what makes it interesting and beautiful.

          Ms. Mock has a female brain but many other aspects of her body could have been classified as male when she was born. The misalignment between transsexual people's neurochemistry and their genitalia/hormones/chromosomes usually causes extreme depression. I think the ethics of most religions would dictate that it's wrong to condemn transsexual people for physically transitioning. It's what they need to feel at peace and comfortable in their own bodies, to thrive. Chemotherapy dramatically changes the bodies of people with cancer. Does that mean we should condemn people who undergo chemo?

          Sodomy has nothing to do with transsexual people. Despite the fact that ‘sexual’ is part of the word transsexual, it's referring to the kind of sex that involves chromosomes and hormones and not the kind of sex that involves physical arousal.

          About one third of straight people have engaged in anal sex, so it has very little to do with sexuality or body parts. Even cisgender lesbians could have anal sex if they used strap-ons.

          Just as a reminder, some transsexual people (trans men) are born with vaginas.

          For trans women (who are born with penises) and who are also interested in and lucky enough to obtain genital reconstruction surgery, they get vaginas. So if they wanted to be penetrated, they wouldn't have to be ‘sodomites.’

          • mike rose

            You realize that we are debating this from two different positions, you are using science as your authority. I'am using biblical authority, which does not go into great detail, nevertheless, scripture is inspired and science is not.

  • Kim

    I mean man… I mean woman… whatever…

  • mike rose

    I can not stand Morgan, he's an ass that should be back in England reporting how the Moslem's have taken over England. I'm also sick of these mental and spiritual sickos get so much media attention, things were so much nicer when they were in the closet and not in front of the camera parading their sickness for all the world to see.

  • Madlymad

    Hardly an issue. I saw only the 2nd show and I can only assume she came back on by invitation. That alone says he was willing to assume more castigation from those who ID as trans sexuals. I am a straight woman who may not have cred in this debate, but I thought she was a beautiful woman until she became an argumentative creator of non-issues to push her book. She was born a boy. She is now a woman. End of story. Unless, of course, you wanna sell more books. Oh, and I'm surprised that as an intelligent woman, that she was so aghast and angry at his terms of identifying her. A real woman is used to that kind of s**t.

  • Robb Green

    I love women who just can't shut up when trying to have a conversation. Their opinions are so important that they just can't shut up.

  • bob

    This person belongs in a nut house

  • nutpep

    I feel if she wants to be a spoke person/advocate for the transgender community then she should have handled the situation more professionally. If she felt offended afterwards, she should have personally contacted CNN and Piers Morgan to discuss it and not go through social media.