Hateful Rant About Orange Is The New Black’s Laverne Cox Removed From Paper

The transphobic rant referred to the actress as a 'he' and an 'effigy of a woman'


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Following her absence from Time's People Of The Year issue, the magazine put Laverne Cox, one of the actresses of Orange Is The New Black, on their cover. First of all, they'd received a bit of flak in the form of the hashtag (#whereisLaverne on Twitter) for not featuring her in their rundown of the 100 or so (there were some double acts there), as she'd done very well in the readers' poll.

Secondly,* Orange Is The New Black* is about to return for a second series. Thirdly,* Time* says that transgender rights are 'America's next civil rights frontier'. So all of this, plus the fact she looks gorgeous, made Laverne's cover, released last week, utterly legit.

In the interview, Laverne explained: 'If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is OK, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied.'

She added: 'They don’t deserve to be victims of violence… That’s what people need to understand, that it’s OK and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.'

However, a writer over at the Chicago Sun Times, instead of understanding that any opposition to Laverne would be stupid and sorely taken, decided to write a piece declaring that 'Laverne Cox is not a woman'. In the piece, published at the weekend, Kevin D. Williamson referred to Laverne as 'he' throughout, and delved into discussions of what Laverne's got between her legs, claiming she is 'an effigy of a woman'.

Rightfully, it got a lot of kickback online. After a Change.org petition, a statement from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) saying the piece was 'ugly and insulting propaganda' and a petition from Women, Action and the Media, the paper removed the piece from its website.

An apology was issued via Buzzfeed: 'We concluded the essay did not include some key facts… it failed as well to acknowledge the real and undeniable pain and discrimination felt by transgender people.'

Perhaps, the best sign that change is afoot is that there's been such a quick response to this sort of transphobia. Also, Laverne Cox is about to entertain and amuse people around the world come Friday, when the long-awaited Orange Is The New Black returns. And as for the person who wrote that horrible piece about her? We don't think we'll be hearing from him again in a long time.

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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