Fox News is being blasted for using an image from the 1993 comedy film Mrs Doubtfire to mock transgender people.
The right-wing US television network added the image to an article about Oregon and California regulators instructing health insurance companies to stop denying coverage for trans patients.
The image showed Robin Williams dressed as his elderly female alter ego, clutching her breasts with saucepan lids.
Janet Mock, a trans advocate journalist who went public in 2011, told TakePart.com it was ‘dehumanizing and belittling’.
‘I’m in shock that the editors of Fox chose to use a photo of Robin Williams in drag as the illustration of this matter of life and death for trans people,’ she said.
‘Blurring the line between fictional comical entertainment and the real-life struggles of trans people nationally is dehumanizing and belittling.’
Mock added: ‘Beyond being biased, the image is problematic for a number of reasons.
‘Trans people are not wearing a costume. Our lives and struggles are not jokes, and using such an image spreads damaging stereotypes that who we are is put, entertainment and fictional.
‘It’s those same misconceptions and stereotypes that allow trans people to be discriminated against when it comes to access to housing, employment and healthcare.’
Fox News has had a long history of using offensive images when writing about gender identity.
In 2011, California was considering greater protection for trans people at work, and when reporting the network decided to use a picture of a man in a bad, blond wig.
Fox News has now changed the Mrs Doubtfire image to a picture of a stethoscope.