Seven apologises for photo of transgender woman in 7News Spotlight promo

"We acknowledge the photo might inadvertently imply that the individual in question regretted their transition," says Seven.

Channel Seven has apologised for using a photo of transgender woman Grace Hyland in its promo for a 7News Spotlight story on de-transitioning.

Grace Hyland, the daughter of former Home & Away actor Mat Stevenson, took to social media to object to her image being used in the story surrounding “the irreparable damage being visited on a generation of confused kids wrongly diagnosed as transgender”.

Ms. Hyland, 20, who did not feature in the episode, said Seven did not seek permission to use her image.

“Channel 7 kind of made it look like I regret transitioning,” she said.

“Just because my face is in this doesn’t mean I agree with it.

“I mean, why would you choose my photos, my face? It makes no sense.”

A Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight her inclusion was a genuine mistake and was changed immediately the program was made aware.

“In a promotional video for 7NEWS Spotlight, the image of a transgender woman was shown during a voiceover discussing children expressing regret over transitioning,” they said.

“We acknowledge the photo might inadvertently imply that the individual in question regretted their transition. As soon as we were made aware the image was removed and the promo replaced. We sincerely apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”

Ms. Hyland also wrote on Instagram, “Transitioning as a child is not how Channel 7 is making it out to be. My care by the Royal Children’s Hospital was held with the utmost diligence and I am forever [grateful]. Stop using my medical history as a way to push your political agenda.

“Gender affirming healthcare in Australia needs more funding, it doesn’t need this negativity,” she said. “And even though my face is in this, I don’t agree with it, I don’t stand for this story, I don’t stand for the sensationalism of this whole thing.”

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5 Responses

  1. It’s an issue that is current and relevant and many people are still coming to terms with, especially when young teens decide to change their name and pronouns. It needs to be part of the discussion, and that simply transitioning will not solve all mental health issues. But this report was very poor journalism. They needed to show examples of successful transitions and how it has helped mental health and prevented self-harm and suicide, not just those who regretted it or had poor outcomes. There was also confusion about the law due to reporting on cases in the US. In Australia, “Medical practitioners seeing patients under the age of 18 are unable to initiate puberty blockers or gender affirming hormonal treatment without first ascertaining whether or not a child’s parents or legal guardians consent to the proposed treatment.”

  2. Spotlight really hit the bottom of the bottom here. Zero journalism on display.
    If you wonder why the same 2 or 3 de-transitioners turn up again and again on tabloid media it’s because so few people actually do this. By far, most who transition are happy, living their best lives.
    Liam Bartlett has really hit the bottom of the barrell and is still heading downwards. His interview with Prof Ian Hickie was the worst example of talking over, interrupting, provoking, switching topics before answers could be given, all to attempt to make the professor appear angry.
    Ch 7 shopped this story idea around for months after the 4 Corners piece and, unsurprisingly, trans people all over the country declined to appear in what they knew would be a deplorable hatchet job.
    And it was.
    Shame on you Ch 7…

  3. A written apology like this doesn’t cut it.

    I watched the first 5 minutes of the show and it was senseless fearmonhering that relies on every negative trope and the experience of a minority to jump to conclusion (and I hope those who reverse their transition get the love and support they need to assert their desired gender identity)

    However, yet to use the image of someone happy to have transitioned on such an overtly transphobic story is unethical.

    I know I’m a schmuck commenting on a TV site, but I hope that 7 News get finned and issue an on-air apology.

  4. The promo in question was shown several days before the program went to air, their decision to wait until after broadcast to apologise is pretty disgraceful.

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