Idols SA judges Somizi, Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana & show host ProVerb. Picture: Supplied

During a recent episode of 'Idols SA', the judges spewed transphobic comments towards Idols SA contestant Arshen Madlopha. 

The popular South African reality TV show is not new to controversy and after Madlopha’s audition, when the judges decided to debate the gender, one can understand why.

It started when Somizi said: "Jissus your body's banging girl! Oh Oh, walk like a lady!” 

READ: Twitter unhappy with Idols SA time slot

The other judges then chimed in after Madlopha left with Kelly Khumalo saying: "Is it a girl?” Unathi Msengana then commented, "Noooo it's a girl." Both Randall Abrahams and Somizi then chimed in saying, "it is a boy".  

Now, the fact that they keep referring to Madlopha as “it” is not only disrespectful but effectively you are equating a trans or nonbinary persons to an object. Essential misgendering someone along with disrespecting their gender identity. 

A similar incident happened during a recent Breakfast Club interview where C-list comedian Lil Duval threatened to kill a trans woman if she did not disclose her trans status. 
The co-hosts Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy not only cosigned this disgusting comment but also saw an opportunity to make a joke. 
DJ Envy then held up trans-activist and author Janet Mock’s novel, who appeared on the show a week earlier, with Lil Duval replying: “Nope. That nigga doing his thing….ain’t finna get me.” 
With the co-hosts laughing afterwards.

Mock responded to Duval’s comments in a thought provoking 'Allure' magazine article. 

This idea that transgender people are deceiving and want to trick feeds into transphobia. Furthermore, the ignorance shown by both the Breakfast Club interview and the 'Idols SA' incident could’ve been avoided with one Google search on how to properly address trans and nonbinary people. 

Trans people are not a joke and media personalities both in South Africa and abroad need to do better.