GLAAD has launched an online petition against "Saturday Night Live" over what they call a "dangerous and blatantly anti-transgender" sketch that aired Jan. 29.
"In the January 29 episode of Saturday Night Live, NBC broadcast a dangerous and blatantly anti-transgender segment which they called 'Estro-Maxxx' – the punch line of which was the lives of countless transgender people across the country," GLAAD's petition reads. "The piece was a mock commercial for estrogen replacement therapy and featured men with facial hair wearing dresses, meant to represent transgender women."
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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."
GLADD says they have been joined by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Human Rights Campaign in protest, and are urging people to "take action and tell NBC it is unacceptable to dehumanize transgender people by turning their lives into a punch line."
NBC could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday.