Gabourey Sidibe Apologizes for Using Anti-Trans Slur on Talk Show

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Tuesday February 4, 2014

Actress Gabourey Sidibe took to Twitter Saturday to apologize for using the word "tranny" several times when she appeared on "The Arsenio Hall Show" last month, the Huffington Post reports.

"I've apologized several times for using the word 'Tranny,'" she tweeted Saturday. "I don't realize that it was a slur. I'm very sorry for my poor choice of words." She later added, "I'm also sorry for having made light of a bad situation. It was not my intention."

The "American Horror Story: Coven" actress stopped by "The Arsenio Hall Show" on Jan. 23 to talk about living in New Orleans but came under fire for using the anti-transgender slur, "tranny," five times in under a minute, according to HuffPo.

"There was a bar that we would frequent and every time we'd go, when we were leaving every single time there was always like a gang of cops arresting trannies," she said on the talk show. "Specifically trannies. And I don't know what goes on with trannies but that tranny on tranny crime needs to stop!"

"It is tearing our nation apart!" she said to an audience and host Arsenio Hall laughing.

But not everyone thought the "Precious" star's comments were funny.

Mara Keisling, the executive director of the Nation Center for Transgender Equality, spoke to the Huffington Post about Sidibe's remarks.

"Using the word 'tranny' isn't OK anymore," she said. "Using it to make fun of people is definitely not OK. And using it to make fun of any kind of violence is just plain wrong. I know she meant it in fun but that's the problem in this case. It's not just that she used the word 'tranny' but that she's making fun of violence in a city where the police have a history of committing violence and discriminationagainst trans women of color.

"It's the kind of thing that trans people listen to and say, 'This is someone who is not thinking about our lives," she continued. "This is someone who is making fun of our problems.' Gabby is someone who has approached lots of different social issues with grace and class and so this is just such a disappointment."