Television progremme calls transgender people ”human monsters”

July 21, 2008 | By | Reply More

Television watchdogs were investigating after transgender people were described as “human monsters” in a Chinese language television programme, a media report said Sunday.

The expression “yan yiu,” which translates as “human monster,” was used 23 times during a report on transgender people in Thailand broadcast by the ATV television station, the South China Morning Post said.

The expression also appeared in subtitles 28 times in the segment which lasted 11 minutes and 45 seconds.

Sam Winter, a professor at the University of Hong Kong’s faculty of education and also director of Transgender ASIA Research Centre, said the use of the expression would damage Hong Kong’s reputation as a cosmopolitan city.

He filed a complaint with the Broadcasting Authority and asked the television station and producers of the programme to apologize publicly to the local transgender community.

“It is unimaginable to call transgender people freaks on TV in other developed sections of the world – you won’t hear the word ‘nigger’ on television in the US,” Winter said.

The Broadcasting Authority confirmed it had received the complaint and said it would look into it.

Lennie Chui, who has changed gender from male to female, felt offended by the use of the expression and the attitude shown towards transgender people. “The television programme adopted a ‘freak investigation approach’ to look into the lives of transgender people.

I felt I was being exploited and it caused me discomfort,” she said.

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Category: Opinion

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