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Gay group to Letterman: Apologize to transgender Commerce official

By Ed O'Keefe

A leading national gay rights group wants an apology from David Letterman and his CBS "Late Show" for a recent joke about a transgender Commerce Department official.

The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to the late night talk show host on Wednesday asking him to apologize to Amanda Simpson, who started Monday as senior technical adviser to the Commerce Department.

Letterman and the show's announcer, Alan Kalter, joked about Simpson during Tuesday's night's opening monologue. After Letterman mentioned her new job, Kalter said, "What? Amanda? Amanda used to be a dude?" (The segment starts at 4:00 in the video clip above.)

"The decision to ignore the fact that Ms. Simpson is incredibly well-qualified for this vital national security position and focus instead on her gender identity reflects transphobia," HRC associate director Allyson Robinson said in her letter to Letterman and CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler. "Ms. Simpson’s appointment represents meaningful progress for the LGBT community and in particular transgender Americans who have faced significant and well-documented discrimination in the workplace and their communities."

A spokesman for Letterman and his Worldwide Pants production company declined to comment.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 7, 2010; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  Revolving Door  
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Comments

DO NOT APOLOGIZE, DAVID LETTERMAN-NOT ON YOUR EFFING LIFE! IF THESE OBAMA INCOMPETENTS, ETHICALLY CHALLENGED AS THEY ARE, PUTTING SOMEONE LIKE SOUTHERS UP FOR TSA ADMINISTRATOR-ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT POSITIONS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT-SOUTHERS, SOMEONE WHO LIED TO CONGRESS ABOUT HIS CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT WHILE AT THE FBI-RIFLING THROUGH PEOPLE'S PERSONAL RECORDS-NO, YOU OWE NOTHING TO THIS ADMINISTRATION-THEY ARE A JOKE, BUT THEY DON'T EVEN SEE IT, THEY ARE SO ETHICALLY COMPROMISED!

YOU MAKE ME SICK OBAMA WHITE HOUSE! I CAN'T VOTE FOR THIS ADMIN. ANYMORE! YOU HAVE CREATED SUCH AN OUTRAGEOUS DOUBLE STANDARD-IT IS DISGUSTING, DISGUSTING!

NICK SHAPIRO, OBAMA WHITE HOUSE STAFFER-YOU GO TO HELL!

Posted by: farfalle44 | January 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

This is just the kind of over reaction that turns people off on gay/lesbian/trans-gender issues. There was nothing suggesting that Ms Simpson was not qualified. In case Ms Robinson didn't get the joke the show's announcer, Alan Kalter, reaction indicated he might have dated Ms Simpson not knowing she was transgender. If Ms Robinson is so mullified by this I would suggest she never watch the Jerry Springer show. I heard and enjoyed the joke and as you can see in my post I always refered to Ms Simpson as a woman which is what she would have wanted.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | January 7, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

What is the Post's opinion regarding Letterman's comment. I assume that by their silence and the fact that the video clip was not edited, so that the viewer had to watch most of the monologue before viewing the 12 seconds in question, the Post must love and approve of Letterman and his behavior.

Personally, watching Letterman reminded me how smart some of my houseplants are compared to him.

Posted by: dcharlson | January 8, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I have been sick of PC increasingly for years. Mr. Letterman is a comedian. He tells jokes and makes fun of people. Thats what he does. He did not comment on the competency of Mrs. (Mr?) Simpson. Its just too bad that people go through life being offended by every single comment someone makes. Oh yeah Farfalle, you are an idiot.

Posted by: vwilliams1st | January 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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