Channel Seven cooking series My Kitchen Rules (MKR) has come under fire for using the word ‘trans’ as an insult in last night’s episode.
Promotions for the episode teased that an “unforgivable word” word would be used by one contestant to describe another, leading audiences to wonder what the offensive word would be.
In the wake of the whole C U Next Tuesday incident on rival reality series Married At First Sight, some assumed that there would be a double-up of storylines with the same derogatory word used among contestants but it turns out said “unforgivable word” was trans.
In the episode, the amateur chefs discuss the physique of socialite Karolina Borkovic.
“You’re a very tall woman, you’re extraordinarily tall,” remarked one contestant.
“It’s true, I thought you were trans,” Lyn Ellbourn added. “You thought I was a transvestite?” Karolina asked.
“Only because you’re so tall,” Lyn replied, to which Karolina responded: “Oh my god, you really are saying it!”
Borkovic added that Ellbourn pointed out “something that I’m really sensitive about” and that she “friggin’ hurt my feelings.”
Lyn left the table to sob in the hallway while her partner continued to apologise on her behalf.
“It hurt my core,” said Karolina. “I have two beautiful sisters and we’re all very tall. Our stature is not particularly gentle, our personalities are not particularly gentle, but we are far from being transvestites.”
An upset Lyn said that she “put [her] foot in her mouth” and that she “did not mean to upset her, or to hurt her.”
— MKR (@mykitchenrules) February 17, 2019
As the episode was airing, loads of viewers slammed the show on Twitter for painting ‘trans’ as the harshest of insults, particularly in light of the baity promos.
I’m sorry but there are worse things in the world than being mistaken for trans – especially in this day and age #MKR
— Pammy Tall (@91Tall) February 17, 2019
Jesus! What’s going on with #MKR and their unapologetic, transparent grab for ratings this season? Group 1 Joshua & Austin the homophobic, racist brothers & Group 2 An older women with a massive Trans slur, all for what? There’s reality “villains“ & then there’s #hate promoting.
— PAY IT FORWARD 🦘🇦🇺🦅🇺🇸 (@Theresa_Lee17) February 17, 2019
#MKR yeah a very awkward situation… with a less than appropriate #trans comment thrown into the mix, you can tell she is instantly mortified she said it… just awks all round… why channel 7 chose to include it- not sure!
— ScottyJ (@ScottSj84) February 17, 2019
Okay, we already know how I feel about this so let me just say that I think it’s gross that it’s 2019 and our society is still fetishising the word “trans” and portraying being trans as something to be ashamed of and considering trans women as lesser women. Okay, moving on. #MKR
— Ashleigh ミ☆ (@AshDeeAnn) February 17, 2019
— Rachel Green (@RachieRach1991) February 17, 2019
Trans and cis are not derogatory words.
I’m not judging this woman directly, although her word choice is extremely outdated and offensive. My issue is with MKR and channel 7 airing this and using such awful behaviour to promote their show.
— Jamie (@jmrz) February 17, 2019
All the woman had to say was “no I’m not” and moved on. Is it that degrading to be called trans? I don’t think so #MKR
— kylie (@___k2908) February 17, 2019
there are such transphobic undertones to this, being trans should not be treated as though it’s the most terrible insult #mkr
— erin 🐝 (@indigolesbian) February 17, 2019
I think it’s awful to think trans in an insult #mkr
— Richo Sandrat (@matthewrichard9) February 17, 2019
Oh god she thinks trans is the worst thing she could be called she should’ve heard me yelling “cunt” at her through the television. #MKR
— Tony Baloney (@CampCounsellor) February 17, 2019
Being called a ‘transvestite’ is fucking offensive as it’s outdated and derogatory. Being a trans person is not. Know the difference. #MKR
— Danni (@danni_wanders) February 17, 2019