A transgender woman will be one of the 14 women who will compete on the new season of America's Next Top Model on The CW (returning September 3).
22 year-old Isis, a former non-profit worker who identifies herself as "a woman born physically male", will jump into Tyra Banks' grueling reality show in its 10th season. Isis, who simply says "my cards were dealt differently", was asked by US Weekly about being a role model for other transpeople and answered:
I like to help people, but I'm here to follow my dreams.
While the coverage on various new sites has been overwhelmingly positive, it should come as no surprise that one station had to take it to the most offensive place possible- Fox News. The disgusting video clip after the jump...
On August 14, Fox News Channel aired a crude and obnoxious segment concerning the recent announcement of America's Next Top Model's first-ever transgender contestant. Isis, who will begin appearing on the new cycle of the popular CW program when it premieres on September 3, was interviewed exclusively in the current issue of Us Weekly.
Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett and Us Weekly Editor-at-Large Ian Drew spent the segment gratuitously insulting the America's Next Top Model contestant, using dehumanizing terminology, inaccurate and inappropriate pronouns and offensive references to her anatomy.
While laughing and joking, Jarrett mocked Isis' description of herself as a woman whose "cards were dealt differently," and said, "That's an understatement!" Drew referred to recent instances of transgender visibility on reality television as "The Crying Game '08," going on to call the show "America's Next Top Tranny." Drew then said that she doesn't look any different from other contestants because "they are not exactly the most high-class group of women." Throughout the segment, Jarrett switched back and forth between male and female pronouns, and both Jarrett and Drew suggested that Isis "fooled" people by "blending in." They went on to make crude remarks about her genitalia and the pitch of her voice.
Soon after the segment aired, GLAAD contacted both Fox News Channel and Us Weekly, calling on both to apologize. Us Weekly issued the following statement: "We apologize if any group was offended by our editor's comments as it was by no means his intention." Fox News did not respond.
What a disgusting display from Fox News and US Weekly. I'm happy GLAAD called them on it and is pushing the issue (although I'm sure Faux News will never change). Be sure to lend your voice to the protest. You can find the contact information for Fox News here.
Despite the horrendous Fox News coverage, I am happy to see Isis on Top Model. It is great to see the trans community get more representation on television.
I will be sure to tune in to see how the gorgeous Isis does in competition. I know I'll be rooting for her! I'll also be letting both Fox and US Weekly know what I think of the way the dehumanizing way they treated her.