A week after Janet Mock’s appearance on The Breakfast Club radio show, the hosts are coming under fire for their interview with comedian Lil Duval, who joked about killing trans women.
Janet Mock has published a response to the controversy following her recent appearance on the popular — and often contentious — Power 105.1 morning talk show, The Breakfast Club.
One week after Mock's appearance on the program, hosted by Angela Yee, DJ Envy, and Charlamagne Tha God, comedian Lil Duval came on the show and made several comments about Mock and trans women, saying that if he found out a woman he had slept with was transgender, he would have to kill her. The interview was published in full on their Youtube page on July 28th.
After discussing Trump's proposed ban on trans service members in the military, DJ Envy posed a hypothetical question to the comedian about dating and sleeping with a woman who later discloses that she’s transgender. “This might sound messed up and I don’t care,” Duval responded. “She dying. I can’t deal with that.”
Charlamagne jumps in to point out that killing a trans woman would be considered a hate crime. “You can't do that,” he says.
Duval inferred that there should be “repercussions” for a trans woman who sleeps with a man without disclosing her gender identity. “You should go to jail or something,” Charlamagne agrees, mentioning the show's previous interview with Janet Mock, when they discussed the topic of disclosure. “But you can't go around killing transgenders,” he said.
“If one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, I’mma be so mad I’d probably going to want to kill them,” Duval responded.
Some of the hosts laughed in response to Duval's comments. DJ Envy placed Janet Mock's book, which has a large photo of the author on the cover, on the table in front of Duval. Both Charlamagne and Yee tried to convince Duval that Mock is pretty. “Nope,” he said, referring to Mock with male pronouns, drawing more laughs from the hosts.
I was hopeful that I could use the show’s vast platform to speak directly to their predominantly black and Latinx listeners, who are often excluded from the conversations held in mainstream LGBT spaces (which are largely white, moneyed, and concerned with the centering of cis folk). I hoped I could make listeners aware of the lived realities of their trans sisters, and let them know that we deserve to be seen, heard, and acknowledged without the threat of harassment, exclusion, and violence.
My ultimate goal was to be accessible — to not judge, to call in rather than call out, and, above all, to exercise patience as the (straight cis male) hosts processed my existence.
Mock calls out the show’s hosts for laughing at Duval’s comments and using her book “as a literal prop for laughs, vitriol, and a deeper call and justification for violence,” only one week after speaking with her.
“Just so we are all clear,” she begins, “On a black program that often advocates for the safety and lives of black people, its hosts laughed as their guest advocated for the murder of black trans women who are black people, too!”
For Duval, she had several choice words. “This was not the first time that I’ve been misgendered, dismissed, told that I am an abomination, that I need medical help and God, et cetera, et cetera. Boo boo: You are not original,” she wrote. “Everything you’ve spewed has been said to me and my sisters before — hundreds of times. But there are deeper consequences to this casual ignorance.”