Bill Maher may have treated Milo Yiannopoulos with kid gloves, but Larry Wilmore was not here for the alt-right troll’s transphobic nonsense.
The former Daily Show correspondent and Nightly Show host, who now serves as the executive producer of ABC’s Black-ish and co-creator of HBO’s Insecure, was one of the panelists on Friday night’s edition of Real Time, and during the Overtime segment—that aired exclusively online—he squared off against Yiannopoulos.
After being asked by Maher why he singled out a transgender student for ridicule during a recent speech at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Yiannopoulos intentionally referred to the former student as a “he” (she is a she), saying, “He had already left the university. And I make no apologies for protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity.” The Breitbart editor continued: “I did it on purpose. I misgendered this person… I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms.” “That’s not unreasonable,” said Maher, who once again agreed with Yiannopoulos.
Then Wilmore stepped up to the plate. “I just think it’s sad, because the same arguments that were used against gay people, treating them like aliens who wanted to fuck anything that moved and that’s why we should avoid them at all costs, are being used [against the trans community].”
Yiannpoulos tried to interrupt, but was shot down by Wilmore: “Well, let me finish my thought, please. No, It’s terrible. There’s a difference without a distinction, because it’s using the type of arguments. It’s like when people try to compare gay and black. Yeah, they’re not the same thing. We shared invisibility. People didn’t see us in society, and gay people hid out from society, but there were a lot of the same issues that you have to deal with when you’re marginalized.” “You can always find an extreme person that becomes the object of your attack to assign that to everybody,” he continued. “So if you say, well that person is ‘weird’ or they want to commit sexual assault, then people think all transgender people want to do is commit sexual assault.”
Then, as is his wont, Yiannopoulos shot back with, “Well, they are disproportionately involved in those kinds of crimes… That’s not a controversial statistic, and frankly, you’re suggesting these people are the victims of some kind of discrimination, well I’m saying to you this is a psychiatric disorder—like identity disorder or like sociopathy.”
Here, Yiannapoulos is correct: transgender people are “disproportionately involved” in sex crimes—as the victims. According to the Office of Justice Programs, “One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent, often coupled with physical assaults or abuse. This indicates that the majority of transgender individuals are living with the aftermath of trauma and the fear of possible repeat victimization.”
So Wilmore, seemingly aware of Yiannapoulos’s faulty logic, responded, “This is what I said: [it’s] the same argument we used against gay people. You should do your homework. Homosexuality was called a ‘disorder.’ It was [called] a ‘psychological disorder.’” “Maybe it is. I feel really disordered,” replied Milo, trolling Wilmore.
“Maybe you are, but most homosexuals are not,” offered Wilmore. “No, I think most gays have a long road, actually, to coming to terms with their sexuality,” countered Yiannopoulos. “Yeah, because of the way society treats them!” exclaimed Wilmore. “If society said ‘we’re fine with gay people’ and it’s 1890, do you think in 1990 people are going to have an issue with it?”
After being confronted by another panelist, former U.S. Navy officer and cryptology expert Malcolm Nance, Yiannapolous turned to Maher and quipped: “You always invite such awful people on your show! They’re so stupid!”
That really set Wilmore off. “First of all, hold on, Bill: You can go fuck yourself,” Wilmore said to Yiannopoulos. “If your argument is that these people are stupid, you didn’t hear a word this man [Nance] said earlier in the segment, because he can talk circles around your pathetic, douchey little ass from England, alright?”
Then, Wilmore addressed the comments Yiannopoulos made earlier in the night against SNL and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, whom he called “barely literate.” “And one last thing: Leslie Jones is not ‘barely literate.’ Go fuck yourself again for that one, OK?” said Wilmore, matter-of-factly. “She is a very thoughtful person, and very friendly.”