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Aussie newspaper under fire for transphobic headline

Aussie newspaper under fire for transphobic headline

The Sunday Telegraph

Australian newspaper The Sunday Telegraph is under fire for a transphobic headline in today’s (15 July) edition.

It’s a story about Scarlett Johansson stepping down from a role in which she was due to play a transgender man. She was cast in Rupert Sanders’ new movie Rub and Tug earlier this month, which saw her playing the real-life figure of Dante ‘Tex’ Gill.

The Sunday Telegraph headline read: ‘Scarlett dumps tranny film role.’

Aussie journalist Sav Ferguson posted a photo of the headline to Twitter with the caption: ‘Hey, @dailytelegraph What the FUCK made you think this was an acceptable thing to print?’

Ferguson also wrote: ‘IN WHAT WORLD IS THIS OKAY?’

The word ‘tranny’ is steeped in transphobia and was historically used to belittle, demean and ridicule trans people.

Hunter Samuel John Dillon, who identifies as non-binary, was the one to originally post the photos to social media and said they were ‘shocked’ when they saw it.

They told Gay Star News: ‘After the initial shock I was disgusted – how dare they allow such dehumanizing and demoralizing language within a headline of such a large print paper.

‘The Daily Telegraph have clearly not educated their staff about the queer community at all, or hired trans writers or an editor that might have caught this before it went to print.

‘I have made a complaint with the Press Council,’ they said.

Social media reacts

Scores of people then took to social media to complain about the offensive headline.

One Instagram user replied to Hunter’s photo on Instagram: ‘As an LGBTQ rights activist and trans male myself I find this both repulsive and completely and utterly unacceptable.’

Another responded: ‘I actually cried when I first saw this, I felt so unimportant and miserable and so sad and disgusted to be trans and I just can’t believe they’d use such a word. They don’t use other curse words in article titled WHY this one.’

One Twitter user wrote: ‘Wow. That’s appalling. Solidarity against this horrible shit.’In response to the headline, many Twitter users responded to the tweet with disgust.

Another tweeted: ‘good lord, what kind of rock d’you have to live under to think this is okay?’

Gay Star News reached out to The Sunday Telegraph for comment.

Newspaper under fire yet again

It’s not the first time the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper has come under fire from the LGBTI community.

Last year, The Daily Telegraph (the daily version of the Sunday Telegraph) linked same-sex attraction with health issues such as obesity, alcohol and drug use.

The Daily Telegraph published a story on a report about young people by the New South Wales Department of Health.

The report found 18-24 year olds drank lots of alcohol and took a lot of drugs. 37% of that age group were overweight or obese. The study also found that 22% of women and 12% of men suffered from psychological distress.

But it was the statistics around same-sex attracted people that has the community worked up.

The report found 16.8% of secondary school students in Australia identified as same-sex attracted. This number was about 10 times higher than any other age group.

An infographic with the headline ‘Fat Chance of Being Healthy’ included the statistics about same-sex attracted young people.