LBGT groups support Broadcast Ombudsman’s office decisionThursday, August 21, 2014
Lanata must apologize or attend diversity classes for anti-gay remarks
Star Clarín Group television and radio journalist Jorge Lanata faces having to either complete a training course on gender identity or make an on-air public apology for the declarations he made last week about television personality Florencia de la V — whom he described as a “tranny, not a woman” — the Broadcast Services Ombudsman’s office ruled yesterday.
The office also gave the option that the Mitre radio station production team behind Lanata’s Lanata sin filtro programme provide airtime for information about the 2012 Gender Identity Law, which LGBT rights group and anti-discrimination organizations last week claimed Lanata had broken.“I think the Ombudsman’s office’s decision is a good decision,” Marcela Romero, the president of Argentine Transvestite Transsexual Transgender Association (ATTTA), told the Herald. “This is a man who has been given a space to communicate and as such it seems only fair that he apologizes on air.”
Lanata, a staunch government critic, had been speaking about Facebook having recently launched 50 gender identity categories for Argentine users to choose from, when he began a monologue about gender identity focussed almost exclusively on De la V.
“You’re a tranny,” he said. “They give you the ID of a woman, but you’re not a woman.”He went on to question the television personality’s definition of herself as a mother, saying “at best, you’re a father.”The Ombudsman’s office’s ruling not only applies to Lanata himself but to the entire production team behind his show.“We held a meeting with Radio Mitre’s representative today in which we discussed the complaints we had received as well as the analysis this organism has given them,” the ruling signed by Ombudswoman Cynthia Ottaviano read.
Lanata’s comment sparked outrage in the LGBT community and prompted several organizations to lodge complaints against him on the grounds he allegedly violated the 2012 law that grants citizens the right to legally change their gender without prior approval of a judge or doctor.“He’s clearly not informed of what the Gender Identity Law means for trans people. He speaks from his perspective, which is chauvinistic,” Romero had told the Herald at the time, likening the comments to registered cases of police violence against members of the trans community.
The law is based on an understanding of gender as being a self-defined experience, but many journalists and broadcast personalities spent much of last week debating biology, with Lanata himself defiantly standing by his comments.
HIV activist Marcela Alsina, who works intensely with HIV positive trans people, told the Herald yesterday that the option of Lanata broadcasting information about the Gender Identity Law seemed the most beneficial.
“The basic information needs to be out there (about the law),” she said. “We’ve found a lot of media coming out to talk this week, without much information especially about rights.”Lanata and his production team have the coming days to make a decision on the three options handed down to them.
—Herald staff with Télam