• Actor/Producer Kumail Nanjiani attends the premiere of Amazon Studios and Lionsgate's "The Big Sick" on June 12, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images))Source: Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
"This is so devastating. Comedians making transphobic jokes: what side do you wanna be on?"
By
Michaela Morgan

5 Aug 2017 - 8:17 AM  UPDATED 5 Aug 2017 - 8:17 AM

Actor Kumail Nanjiani has called upon his fellow comedians to stop making jokes at the expense of the transgender community.

The Silicon Valley star posted a link to an article about Atlanta woman TeeTee Dangerfield, the 16th transgender person to be murdered in the United States this year—most of whom have been people of colour.

“This is so devastating,” he wrote.

“Comedians making transphobic jokes: what side do you wanna be on?”

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Predictably, Nanjiani began to receive replies questioning his stance with one Twitter user writing: “Ughh that's terrible news but don't you think of all people, comedians are allowed to make uhhh jokes?

The writer/director of The Big Sickstar fired back: “Did I say they weren't allowed? The number of ppl who knowingly misunderstand this very simple statement is shocking.”

User @d_v_dlee then asked: “Can you make transphobic jokes and still support trans people?” 

Nanjiani replied matter-of-factly: “No”.

He then continued to describe the devastating impact transphobic jokes can have, pointing out the recent Breakfast Club controversy where comedian Lil' Duval joked about killing a woman if he found out she was trans. 

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Lil' Duval made the comments just days after transgender activist Janet Mock had appeared on the same radio show.

Fans of Nanjiani have praised him for standing up for transgender rights. One person on Twitter wrote: "Thanks for speaking out about this, Kumail."

"I live in Atlanta, so stuff like this is especially scary as a trans woman. Most victims are women of colour, though, which speaks to the special horror of the some of the controversies around folks like Janet Mock. Intersectionality of those issues is brutal.

"Trans people are so often seen as walking punchlines in media, and it's *so* good to see you, Apatow, etc. speaking up about this," she wrote. 

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) wrote about TeeTee Dangerfield's death, condemning the dangerous remarks made by The Breakfast Club just days earlier. 

"Dangerfield’s death marks the 16th known murder of a transgender person in the US this year," a blog by HRC reads. 

"So far, almost every victim has been a woman of colour—and nearly all have been Black women.

"HRC extends its sincere condolences to Dangerfield’s family and friends."

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Lil' Duval made the comments just days after transgender activist Janet Mock had appeared on the same radio show.