Karl Stefanovic just made some horribly offensive 'jokes' about trans people.

Oh, Karl, Karl, KARL.

Not only have you apparently missed that the term “tranny” is deeply offensive, you have also just spouted the word several times in an attempt to crack jokes about your colleagues being mugged in Rio de Janeiro.

Just, no.

In case you missed it, Today reporter Christine Ahern and her cameraman were almost robbed of their equipment on Copacabana beach an hour after arriving for the Olympics.

 She told Melbourne’s 3AW the attackers were “a group of transvestites”, one carrying a weighted handbag believed to contain a brick.

Simply employing the outdated word “transvestite” itself is a big mistake. And yet the slur was being tossed around throughout yesterday. We’ll get back to this later.

When the Today show crossed to Ahern in Rio this morning, Stefanovic couldn’t help himself from mocking the mugging.


“Christine, at first I was afraid I was petrified, I kept thinking I could never live without you by my side …” Stefanovic said.

With the disco gay anthem I Will Survive playing in the background, Ahern completed the verse: “but then I spent so many nights just thinking how you did me wrong Karl, and I grew strong.” 

“I’m okay. I’m fine,” she continued. “I’m fine. I’M FINE.”

I beefed up my security for Rio ???????? A photo posted by Christine Ahern (@christineahern) on


But the segment was only about to get even more disgracefully transphobic.

Ahern was asked to detail the incident.

“We had to quickly shoot a piece to camera on the beach and things just turned really quickly. We came across a group of transvestites, one very strong,” she said.

Cameraman Glen came into view, at which point Stefanovic joked he was “no stranger to the ways of the tranny”.

“He has fought off tougher. Tougher trannies. They don’t call him the bull for nothing. Let’s be serious, because one of them was armed with a brick in their handbag and that was used as a weapon against your security guard or a police officer, is that right?” Stefanovic went on.

The host then explained, through laughter, he'd made up a 'Wanted' poster for the would-be thieves. He held up a sign with an image of Hugo Weaving's character in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.

... I know. Are we still in 2016?


Here's what Stefanovic said.

"Look I know that you have gone to see the police about this tranny. We've got a confit made up and we know not all trannies look the same. Is that the tranny we're talking about?"

Sylvia Jeffries then chimed in, "Christine sent me that on email."

This is just not on. So here's a little lesson that the likes of Stefanovic probably should have before spewing garbage.

Transvestite is considered a derogatory slur.

It doesn't actually accurately express a person's gender identity.

As you can appreciate, there are massive differences between transgender women, cross-dressers and drag queens.

The Gay and Lesbia Anti-Defamation Alliance (GLAAD) explains people should only use the one term preferred by the individual, and never use 'transvestite' unless someone specifically identifies that way.

As for the word 'tranny', it's listed as one of the defamatory terms that "dehumanise transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media."

And frankly, people in positions of such public influence and advantage should know better than to validate such transphobic slurs.

Stefanovic, for his part, is now trying to make amends. He tweeted an apology this afternoon.