MKR promos use “trans” as “unforgiveable word.”

Viewers accuse sensationalist promos of insulting transgender community, as Seven forgets it has signed a Diversity Charter.

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules yesterday revealed the word “trans” was at the centre of its on-air promotion as an “unforgiveable word.”

It followed controversy around the ‘C word’ being censored by Married at First Sight.

The moment happened when Group 2 contestants were reflecting on their first impressions of one another:

“I thought you were trans,” Lyn said to Karolina.

“You thought I was a transvestite?” Karolina asked.

“Only because you’re so tall,” Lyn replied.

“Oh my god, you really are saying it!” Karolina retorted.

An upset Lyn apologised before leaving the table.

While the misunderstanding may have been awkward between contestants, it was Seven’s promo department that turned it into a firestorm, teasing “one word” was uttered that was “so unforgiveable.” That’s despite Karolina accepting Lyn’s apology.

On social media Seven came under fire for ignorant language and sensationalist promos.


Seven associating “trans”  with a network promo as an “unforgiveable word” was a new low for the show this year as it desperately tries to knock off Nine’s Married at First Sight. Neither Pete Evans nor Manu Fieldel, presumably absent from the table, weighed into the debate as the voice of authority.

“Trans” was quickly hijacked into “transvestite” by Karolina, with no attempt to distinguish between ‘transgender, transsexual’ or the very dated ‘transvestite’. Neither were there any community links provided for those seeking further information.

While shows like All Together Now have done much work for inclusivity in an early evening timeslot, it didn’t take long for MKR to overlook it for the sake of a reality controversy.

Seven has also previously signed an industry Diversity Charter:

We aim to actively reflect the diversity of Australian society at every level of our workforce, by gender, age, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion and disability or geographic location, both in our employees and the stories we tell.

Seven has been contacted for comment.

Transgender Victoria
The Gender Centre

19 Responses

  1. Lyn said (out loud) that they thought she was trans, either way you interpret that she thought she was a man dressed as a woman. This is long after the fact Lyn knew she was a woman, so what purpose did that statement serve? I think we can give Karolina just a bit of leeway to take a little bit of offence to that. The promos shouldn’t have blown it up as it did, but i had no issue with how Karolina reacted to that. It was an insensitive remark essentially saying “i thought you were a man.”

  2. It’s a fact that MAFS has grabbed all the viewers, the demos, and the watercooler chat. Seven is desperate to generate any media it can, and this is it. It’s got everything to do with getting more viewers and nothing to do with the content of the promos.

  3. “Trans” was quickly hijacked into “transvestite” by Karolina, with no attempt to distinguish between ‘transgender, transsexual’ or the very dated ‘transvestite’. Oh come on, really. Do we have to define everything so as to not upset people. This is such a non-story that I wonder if there is something else behind it.

    1. It’s not a matter of defining things to not upset people, but to educate others. Although this might just be a reality cooking competition, for the producers and Seven to decide to exploit this scene for publicity and promotion, they have the responsibility to fairly represent and respect the (unrepresented) population they’re exploiting.

  4. The bottom line is that Seven management, are causing ‘themselves’ real credibility problems.
    Big changes need to happen, so it stops treating its viewers like dills, but nothing ever changes.

  5. I definitely don’t use terms like he/she when talking about or referring to people who identify as LGBT or anything similar unless I know it’s okay. I’ll use words, like “they” or something else non-gender specific. I’ve heard stories from people, many who identify as straight who have either long or short hair being referred to mistakenly as the wrong gender in public. Some are able to laugh off or don’t mind when this happens, where as some can be offended by it. I think the term “trans” or other gender terms used mistakenly are not insulting, it’s just some people can be insulted being referred to by the gender they don’t identify as, regardless of which gender.

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