Sometimes Saturday Night Live is epically unfunny, but is it ever trans-phobic? This past weekend’s episode, with guest host Jesse Eisenberg, featured a spoof commercial for a product called Estro-Maxx, an estrogen drug for male-to-female transgender people. Starring SNL regular Bill Hader, the commercial parodies typical pharmaceutical commercials and features several cast members dressed in drag and sporting facial hair.
But the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was not amused. On Monday the organization released a statement calling for SNL to apologize for the segment and remove it from the Internet.
“There were no ‘jokes’ per se; all the laughs came from the commercial’s offensive and dehumanizing portrayals of transgender women,” said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios via a news release. “By telling its audience that transgender women should be laughed at and ridiculed, NBC contributed to an environment that sees transgender people subjected to near-universal discrimination in the workplace and an environment in which at least one transgender person is murdered every month.”
The organization has launched an online petition calling for NBC to issue an apology for the skit.