Transgender actress Laverne Cox indicated that her May 17 interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly omitted a discussion of anti-trans legislation -- specifically North Carolina’s HB 2, a law that prohibits people from using certain bathrooms that don’t correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate. Cox has been outspoken in her opposition to laws like North Carolina’s.
During Fox Broadcast Network Special, Megyn Kelly Interviewed Transgender Actress Laverne Cox
Megyn Kelly Asked Laverne Cox About Childhood Struggles, Suicide, And Romance. Megyn Kelly sat down with Laverne Cox for an interview that was included as part of an hour-long Fox special called Megyn Kelly Presents on May 17. During the interview, Kelly asked Cox questions about struggles from her childhood, her past suicide attempt, and her romantic life. [Fox News, Megyn Kelly Presents, 5/17/16]
Cox Says Fox Edited Out Discussion Of Anti-Trans Legislation
Laverne Cox: Discussion Of North Carolina’s HB 2 “Didn’t Make It To Air.” On Twitter, Laverne Cox told NPR’s Dana Farrington that, she had discussed anti-trans legislation, specifically HB 2, with Kelly, but that portion of the interview “didn’t make it to air.”
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) May 18, 2016
Cox Has Been Vocal About Her Opposition to Anti-Trans Laws, Like HB 2
Cox: “So Many Of These Anti-Trans Bathroom Laws Are Trying To Make Us Not Exist.” On May 9, Cox shared her opposition to anti-trans laws with the Daily Courier Observer explaining that “anti-trans bathroom laws are trying to make us not exist”:
Cox said 50 percent of homicides among the LGBT community are of trans-women, and that 2015 was the deadliest year on record, especially for trans-women of color. Additionally, she noted that 17 states have introduced legislation criminalizing transgender people using bathrooms not in line with their biological gender.
“Trans people are under attack in this country,” she said. “So many of these anti-trans bathroom laws are trying to make us not exist.” [Daily Courier Observer, 5/17/16]
Cox: “Discriminatory Bills Like HB 2 In North Carolina Misgender Trans People.” During a May 9 speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cox stated:
“Misgendering a transgender person is an act of violence. Discriminatory bills like HB 2 in North Carolina misgender trans people.” [The Cap Times, 5/10/16]
Cox: “I’m Excited About Backlash To North Carolina Law.” During a speech at the 4th Annual Forbes Women’s Summit on May 13, Cox said that it was exciting to see the opposition to anti-trans laws:
The backlash was almost immediate.
Cox said these moves are “exciting” for the trans community because companies are saying, “This is not how we want to do business,” she noted.
Cox, 31, said she thinks justice for the trans community will come in court. “I'm really excited that the Justice Department is suing the state of North Carolina,” she noted.
“To hear someone at that high of a level in our government acknowledge our existence in such a pointed way felt like a major change,” she said. [CNN Money, 5/13/16]
Cox: HB 2 Is “Clearly Unconstitutional And Will Not Survive A Court Challenge.”
Stay strong. This law is clearly unconstitutional and will not survive a court challenge. Let's let this mobilize us https://t.co/OrO1mZcAg5
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) March 24, 2016
Cox: “We Will Win These Fights In The Courts.”
“I have believed we will win these fights in the courts not in legislatures. Trans folks are clearly covered by Title VII and Title IX. The courts will again agree. I believe that. And the federal protections we need will be in place we still need to change hearts and minds, get more trans people to work and in homes and keep us alive. We must end the epidemic of violence against trans folks particularly trans women of color.” [Twitter, 5/17/16, via Storify]
Megyn Kelly Is Just Part Of A Larger Anti-Trans Bias At Fox News
Megyn Kelly Routinely Hosts Anti-LGBT Hate Groups And Makes Anti-Trans Comments Despite Attempts To Bill Herself As An Unbiased Journalist. Megyn Kelly’s interview with Laverne Cox will likely be touted as evidence of Kelly’s ability to buck her network’s conservative slant, especially when it comes to transgender issues. But beyond her Cox interview, Kelly has consistently misgendered trans people, spouted anti-trans rhetoric and used her show to repeatedly elevate hate group leader Tony Perkins, one of the most extreme anti-LGBT voices in the country, lending him mainstream credibility even as he peddles harmful smears against LGBT people. [Media Matters, 5/17/16]
Fox Dedicates Significant Air Time To “Bathroom Bills.” Fox News has dedicated significant air time to the battle over bathroom access for transgender people and students, but chose to edit out Cox’s perspective on the subject. Fox chose to air a May 9 interview with Pat Buchanan about “bathroom bills”, during which he questioned why can’t “the minority griping about it simply deal with it?” Pundits have spent time on Fox denying the validity of trans identities or proffering that people chose to be trans, speculating on Caitlin Jenner’s genitals, and outright lying about the implications for guidance protecting trans students. [Fox News, 5/9/16, 5/9/16, 5/10/16, 5/13/16, 5/13/16, 5/16/16, 5/13/16]
Fox News’ “Medical A Team” Denies Trans Identities And Peddles Conversion Therapy For Transgender Youth. Dr. Keith Ablow from Fox’s “Medical A Team” has compared identifying as transgender to a white person claiming to be a minority to benefit from affirmative action or someone identifying as older than 65 to receive Medicare. Ablow flat out denies trans identities, saying “that when someone says she is female, despite male anatomy and male DNA... That's not his decision to make.” He has also advocated for treating transgender youth with his own extreme variation of conversion therapy. [Fox News, 4/13/16, 4/25/16, 5/17/16]