Jenny McCarthy usually does harm by promoting her inconsistent and misinformed stance on childhood vaccines, but today she tried something new: a transphobic joke on Twitter.
Responding to rumors that Jennifer Lopez’s boyfriend Casper Smart was cheating on her with a swimsuit model who is also transgender, McCarthy wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “Did Jennifer Lopez’s boyfriend cheat with a transsexual model? I heard JLo gave him an ultimatum: ‘it’s either me or her/him!'”
For obvious reasons, it’s not funny—misgendering someone (identifying a person by a name, gender or pronoun that person doesn’t identify with) or making their gender identity the butt of a “joke” is a harmful and disrespectful. Also, though some people choose to identify with the label, “transsexual” is a mostly-outdated term that has origins in medical communities and shouldn’t be used to describe someone unless that person expresses a preference for it, according to GLAAD’s guidelines.
McCarthy has taken the tweet down, but hasn’t otherwise acknowledged or apologized for it.