US comedian Lil Duval is under fire after saying that he would murder a transgender woman if she didn’t disclose her identity prior to having sex.

In an interview on The Breakfast Club last week, Lil Duval, real name Roland Powell, was asked how he would react if he had sex with a woman and later discovered she was transgender. “This might sound messed up and I don’t care: she dying,” he said. Duval also said that having sex with a trans woman would mean that he was gay, which he appeared to be disgusted by. He also used the slur ‘tranny’ before being corrected by the show’s hosts.

The comments are particularly heinous in our current environment. So far this year, 15 transgender people have been murdered in the US – all of them transgender women of colour.

The hosts of the show were seen laughing at the comments. Charlamagne Tha God, one of the hosts, did challenge Lil Duval’s views at one point, reminding him that he can’t just murder a transgender woman.

“I didn’t say I was gonna kill transgenders,” Duval responded, but doubled down on his threat of violence: “I said, if one did that to me, and they didn’t tell me, I’mma be so mad I’d probably kill them.”

His comments, and the hosts’ reluctance to challenge them, have led to a firestorm on social media, especially in light of transgender journalist and activist Janet Mock’s appearance on the show earlier in the same week.

Mock has yet to address the comments, but trans actor Laverne Cox responded to Lil Duval’s statements her Twitter account. “Some folks think it’s ok to joke about wanting to kill us,” Cox wrote. “We have free speech but that speech has consequences and trans folks are experiencing the negative consequences with our lives. It hurts my spirit cause this isn’t funny. Our lives matter. Trans murder isn’t a joke.”

Responding to the controversy on Instagram, an unrepentant Lil Duval posted a screenshot of one of his tweets with the caption: “So let me ask u slow ass transgender niggaz something. Y’all really think if u don’t tell a Man U use to be a man it’s gon be no repercussion to it? Yea ok 😒 if u can see why somebody would kill someone that rape them u should understand how a straight man feels. Matter fact I ain’t going back and forth with u confused nigga bitches”

Host Charlamagne was heckled by transgender during an interview at the weekend for his part in the controversial interview. During a public interview with MSNBC, a group of protesters interrupted Charlamagne and shouted “The trans community is boycotting The Breakfast Club.”

While the interviewer tried to diffuse the situation, the protesters broke into a chant of “We are not a joke!”

Watch the exchange below:

Posted by Ashlee Marie Preston on Sunday, 30 July 2017

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