The Problem With The Breakfast Club’s Transphobic Rhetoric

  Jonathan Velasquez via Unsplash
Jonathan Velasquez via Unsplash

We need to have a conversation about The Breakfast Club and their recent interview with Lil Duval. 

The Breakfast Club, a radio morning show produced by I Heart Radio, began six years ago. Since its inception, it has been dubbed the world’s most dangerous radio show and for good reason. The hosts don’t hold back. 

Co-hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne the god invite guests from the music and entertainment industries to come kick it with them for an hour or so. Most guests publicize their newest project for a few minutes; the rest of the hour is dedicated to would you rather questions, addressing rumors, telling stories, or just talking shit. The show is nationally syndicated and there are cameras in the radio booth, so fans can watch the interviews as well

Last week, the trio sat down with Lil Duval to talk about is comedy career. This was in the midst of Trump tweeting that transgender men and women would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. So, the hosts asked Lil Duval about his thoughts on the tweets. His response was nothing short of ignorance. 


But wait, it gets worse…


Yeah, that happened. As I write this, no apology has been issued by The Breakfast Club or Lil Duval. In fact, Lil Duval is making it worse by continuing the “fun” on Twitter

I’m wondering at what point do we hold men (especially black men) accountable for using their platform to continue stereotypes and insight violence?

Comedian or not, jokes about killing trans women–especially trans women of color, who are already killed at higher rates–are not funny.

Since these clips have aired there have been countless men applauding Duval for his words. Saying that trans women who don’t disclose that they’re trans deserve to get beat up for “embarrassing men.” Imagine being so transphobic/homophobic that you feel the need to beat up a woman because you found her attractive before knowing she was trans. Trans women don’t owe anyone an explanation. We have to stop validating the rhetoric that says trans women are interested in “tricking” men into sleeping with them when there is no evidence of that whatsoever. 

It’s 2017, not being educated isn’t an excuse anymore. When we have women like Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Raquel Willis and countless others willing to share their stories and experiences, we need to listen. Then, we need to stand up and fight with them, not call for violence against them.

Misgendering someone is a form of violence. If you’re pro-blackness has limits to it, then you’re not pro-black at all. Black lives matter means ALL black lives. But all black lives can’t matter until trans black lives do. We’ve got to better.   

When you have a platform that reaches millions of people on a weekly basis, you have a responsibility to share your knowledge (and use your privilege) for good. I wish the hosts of The Breakfast Club would’ve taken the time to call out Lil Duval on his “jokes,” especially since they just had Janet Mock on the show a few days before. I never want to see a black program suffer, but it is my hope that the backlash and #BoycottBreakfastClub on Twitter forces the hosts and Duval to rethink what was said on the show and to do better next time. 


What did you think of Lil Duval’s comments and The Breakfast Club’s reaction? Share your thoughts below or tweet me



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