Karl Stefanovic Calls Himself A “Tool” And Gives An On-Air Apology For His Transphobic Comments

Take the hint, Sonia Kruger.

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Karl Stefanovic has owned up to transphobic comments he made yesterday morning, delivering a sincere apology and calling himself an “ignorant tool” for not knowing better. During a segment on Today, Stefanovic repeatedly used the word “tranny”, an offensive slang term used to derogatorily label members of the trans community.

This morning on Today Stefanovic accepted what he said was offensive and ignorant and apologised.

“As we all know, I can be a complete tool, right? Well, yesterday I was worse — I was an ignorant tool,” Stefanovic said in a piece direct to the camera.

“I pride myself, in my own weird way, of being across things. Yesterday I wasn’t. Yesterday, I got it very wrong. I used a word which I will now say for the last time ever. By using the word ‘tranny’, I offended an awful lot of beautiful and sensitive people. I honestly didn’t know the negative and deeply hurtful impact that word has, not only on members of the LGBTQI community, but on their family and their friends.”

Stefanovic then went further, acknowledging that his own life experiences meant he didn’t know “What it’s like to feel apart from the rest of mainstream society.”

“I have no understanding of what it’s like to feel you are born in the wrong body, to feel uncomfortable in your own skin, or the extreme courage it takes to accept yourself and live the life you have always wanted to live,” he said.

He concluded his apology by calling on the Australian community to be more tolerant in the face of diversity. “Given the events of the last year, now more than ever, we need to educate ourselves, laugh together and embrace each other’s differences, and live with tolerance, compassion and most of all love and respect for everyone,” Stefanovic said.

It was genuine apology that showed the Today host had taken on board criticism of his comments and educated himself about the issue. It contrasts pretty heavily with the response given by Sonia Kruger after she was criticised for calling for a Muslim ban. Kruger refused to apologise for her comments and actually doubled down, using the fact that she had raised children as some sort of bizarre justification.

Karl Stefanovic has provided a textbook example in how to constructively respond when you’ve fucked up: own it, educate yourself on the issue and deliver a sincere apology. Ideally breakfast TV hosts wouldn’t find themselves in a position where they were fucking up so often, but next time they do they should look to him, rather than Kruger, when figuring out how to respond.