John Oliver Dings Media Over Offensive Trans Coverage: “They Still Make Dumb Mistakes”


On this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver touted the progress the LGBT community made this month, but criticized the sometimes regressive and inappropriate behavior of the media toward the transgender community.

“Let’s not get too complacent about how far we’ve come, because they still face a host of obstacles,”  he says. “Even when the news media are trying to be supportive, they still make dumb mistakes.”

Cue an absurdist loop of segments featuring Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Larry King asking grossly inappropriate questions of guests like Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox.

Related: Things You Should Never Ask A Trans Person

“What are you doing?” asks an outraged Oliver. “It is no more okay to ask transgender people about their sex organs than it would be to ask Jimmy Carter whether or not he’s circumcised!”

Oliver then gives newspeople a lesson in how not make a fool of themselves: “Some transgender people do undergo hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery as part of their transition, some do not,” he notes. “And interestingly, their decision on this matter is, medically speaking, none of your f*cking business!”


The witty Brit goes on to skewer the United States military and various state legislatures who are trying to strip trans people of their rights and dignity.

Check out the hard-hitting, heart-wrenching, and hilarious clip below.