A US TV show featuring a man who claims anti-baldness drugs made him transgender has been slammed for ‘sensationalizing’ an already marginalized group of people.
The talk show hosted by gay news anchor Anderson Cooper touts the interview with trans woman Mandi as an exclusive.
In a publicity statement for the segment, due to be aired on Anderson Live tonight (13 September), the program makers say Mandi’s ex-wife will also speak about how the gender identity ‘transformation’ has affected their son.
However, the National Center for Transgender Equality has condemned the program, with the advocacy group’s executive director Mara Keisling branding it as ‘another case of sensationalizing an already marginalized population.’
She added that she was ‘surprised, saddened and disappointed’ at Cooper.
‘In the past, Anderson Cooper and his team have earned a great deal of respect from trans people for their coverage of our issues,’ she said in a statement yesterday (12 September).
‘Tomorrow, they’ll throw all of that away. Worst of all, they seem set on misinforming the public about the causality of trans identity.’
Keisling said Cooper should ‘know better than this’ and is calling on activists and journalists to highlight the potential harm the show might cause.
Cooper came out publicly as a gay man over the summer in an email to journalist Andrew Sullivan.
A new season of the renamed Anderson Live show was launched earlier this month and began with Cooper opening up to the audience about his sexuality.
The talk show, nominated for an Emmy this year, has moved from Time Warner Center to a new set at Manhattan’s CBS Broadcast Center where it has a live studio audience and the capability of incorporating feedback in real-time via social media like Twitter and Facebook.