We all know how much you love the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, but recently a few members of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a group we also love, has called out the show for using the word “tranny” and the phrase “no lesbo.”

Although very few people get spared the comedic jabs of Awkward Black Girl, the men and women over at the Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC), found the usage of such terms to be offensive and divisive.

The CFC explains:

In episode 11, CeCe calls Angelina Jolie/White Jay’s ex a “tra**y bitch in heels.” The word tra**y perpetuates violence and divisiveness amongst women by relying on the idea that trans women are not “real” women; it suggests that White Jay’s ex is somehow less than the main character J.

The word “tra**y” has a very real history of violence and discrimination, often targeting trans women. It has been used as a slur, as a way to objectify women, and as a way of denying the personhood of trans women on the basis of appearance.

We have seen your responsiveness to the fans of ABG and we hope that by raising this concern you will respond accordingly by not using such language in future episodes. There are so many awkward queer, trans, and disabled folks who love the show and it hurts to see and hear our lives used as punchlines. For those of us, the awkward black, queer folks who have lived at the intersections of our awkwardness, our blackness, and our transness, words like “tra**y” erase our lives, and our humanity. Phrases like “No lesbo” and the use of affected speech to imitate hard of hearing people detract from the vision of creating representations for the rest of us who are all too often maligned in mainstream media.

Upon hearing of the letter, Issa Rae tweeted: “Respectfully, “Awkward Black Girl” was never meant to be politically correct. We poke fun at ignorance. Response letter coming soon.”

While I understand the intention and the concern of the CFC (and appreciate the respectful brillance of their letter), I’m left to wonder if our personal speech–and by extent–our comedic voice should always be politicized and politically correct.

So what do you think Clutchettes? Should ‘Awkward Black Girl’ and other shows be more mindful of the language they use? Is the show being disrespectful to the transgender community? 

Let’s talk about it! 

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  • SassyNOLa

    I’m confused by this thread of comments.

    I’ve seen comments that “nigga” and “bitch” do not compare to “tranny” and “lesbo” as “tranny” and “lesbo” are MORE offensive. Umm… this is an incredibly stupid way to further dialogue. When you feel yourself about to compete in the Oppression Olympics… don’t.

    I’ve seen comments that CFC has a right and duty to speak out against offensive language. If they’ve also written open letters about the use of the words “nigga” and “bitch” in the series, they’re right. Has this actually happened or not? Either you’re against offensive language that marginalizes folks… or you’re not. You don’t get to only crusade for 1 group but demand every other groups’ support.

    Either you support equal-opportunity offense… or you don’t. You can’t support a series while it makes offensive remarks about a slew of other groups and then make a stand when YOUR group is affected. I mean… you can, but you have absolutely no legitimacy in doing so. Don’t continue wearing the righteous, superhero cape when you’re picking and choosing which folks you’ll save.

    I sincerely hope the series does not change. As another commenter pointed out, the humor is meant to highlight the idiocy of stereotypes and over-the-top offensive language. If you understood that throughout rants from characters about a whole host of social groups and ethnicities, how is this any different? If your only answer is that “tranny” and “no lesbo” are MORE offensive… please refer to the utility of the Oppression Olympics. Hint: everyone loses. No gold medals for ANYONE.

  • Frank Corlone

    I could care less if they use tranny, faggot, nigger, or bitch, because if your not any of those things, why let it bother you. A transexual is NOT A REAL WOMAN OR MAN. IF YOUR BORN WITH A COCK AND SOME BALLS YOU’RE A GUY, IF YOU’RE BORN WITH A VAGINA AND BREASTS YOU’RE A WOMAN. I DON’T CARE WHAT TYPE OF MENTAL DISORDERS YOU HAVE THAT SAYS OTHERWISE. YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE. At the end of the day though all of it is nonsense. Gay, Lesbian all of it. Sounds like some satanic shit to me.