Comedian Lil Duval incited public outrage after he spewed violent and hateful comments against trans women during his interview on The Breakfast Club earlier this week. The radio show’s male hosts, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy, also caught some of the fire after they were seen laughing along with Duval. Now, Charlamagne has issued a statement, denouncing violence against the trans community.
“We don’t condone those kind of hate crimes at all. Not even a little bit,” Charlamagne said in his statement. “Another thing I learned this week is that 15 transgender women have been murdered in 2017 and 13 of them have been women of color. That number could be higher, but I do know the majority of them have been women of color.” The author of Black Privilege continued to provide his fans with other statistics surrounding the trans community, including information about TeeTee Dangerfield, a trans woman who was reportedly murdered in Atlanta this week. “The Breakfast Clubwill continue to do what it always does and that provides a platform for the voiceless,” he concluded.
While some people may be concerned with the time it took for Charlamagne – who was also heckled by advocates at a Politicon event – to issue a statement regarding the July 28 interview, his message will probably be received a little better than Lil Duval’s. Following social media backlash, the comedian attempted to defend his comments, in which he stated that he would “kill” a trans woman if they were dating and she withheld her biological identity from him. “I said that because (the hosts) were saying, taking away someone’s power of choice, and that’s what you did,” Duval told TMZ on Monday (July 31). “When you take away somebody’s power of choice, it should be criminal … I don’t got no problem with transgender, I ain’t got no problem with gay people. I got a problem with somebody trying to take something from me … That’s psychological damage.”
Transgender rights activist and author, Janet Mock, whom was used as a tool for Lil Duval’s bigotry, also published her opinion on the situation on Allure, in which she scolded Lil Duval and The Breakfast Club hosts for their behavior. “Just so we are all clear: 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,” she stated.
While violence against any community is unacceptable and both Duval and the radio show’s behavior should not be tolerated, many can only hope that this incident will open the door for more conversation about creating a safe and honest space for everyone.