Stefanovic’s Apology For ‘Tranny’ Slur Earns LGBTI Award Nomination


Karl Stefanovic has been announced as a finalist in the NSW’s LGBTI community service awards.

His nomination comes following his on-air apology to the transgender community after a poor-taste joke he made about “trannies” during an interview with journalist Christine Ahern in Rio de Janeiro.

During the live cross, Ahern was recounting how a group approached her and her cameraman, Glenn, and tried to steal their camera.

She described the would-be-thieves as “transvestites”, to which Stefanovic responded: “Glenny’s no stranger to the ways of the tranny.”

Throughout the segment, the soundtrack to Priscilla Queen of the Desert played in the background.

Stefanovic admitted that at times he could be a “complete tool”.

“As we all know I can be a complete tool, yesterday I was worse, I was an ignorant tool,” he said during the three-minute apology.

“To anyone who found the segment funny, please understand it was an ignorant jibe at the expense of a beautiful community already battling against the odds for main stream acceptance.

“I’m an ignorant fool at times and my humour is skewed in a very strange fashion. I get it wrong and probably always will, but as a result of yesterday, I have truly learned a lesson,” he said.

According to the Honour Awards website, the host was nominated in the media category for his “groundbreaking and earnest apology to the transgender community following unfortunate comments made on the Today Show and also for a subsequent 60 Minutes piece on young transgender people.”

NSW’s leading HIV prevention and LGBTI health organisation, ACON, is a beneficiary of the awards which double as a fundraising event.

They defended Stefanovic’s nomination after many social media users were outraged he had been nominated for simply apologising.

“Whilst Karl did make a huge and hurtful mistake in the comments he made, his immediate act of contrition and acknowledgement that his words did hurt trans people was very commendable.”

Other Media Award nominees are:

Shannon Molloy (Daily Telegraph – RendezView): for his evocative and deeply personal opinion piece on his own experience with bullying and why programs like Safe Schools are necessary.

Janine Cohen (ABCTV – Australian Story): for telling the story about sixteen-year-old Georgie Stone, who has battled prejudice, bullying and legal hurdles relating to her transition.

Monique Schafter: for her body of work on the 7:30 Report and ongoing championing of LGBTI content on the national broadcaster.

Patrick Abboud (SBS): for his consistent commitment to the reporting of LGBTI issues across national television, radio and online, along with presenting the national broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Mark Whittaker (SBS): for his work on investigations into gay-hate crimes in Australia, most notably crimes committed in South Australia and Adelaide.