Piers Morgan and Other “Allies” Need to Learn How to Shut Up

As I type this piece, Janet Mock’s second interview with Piers Morgan and my blood is boiling. I tried to wait for the video to stop before I type but I figured typing this post would be a more productive use of my time than rolling around my bed and screaming at my computer.

Y’all, Piers Morgan was dead ass wrong. Wrong as two left shoes and unsweetened ice tea.

In case you didn’t know, Janet Mock, a trans activist, writer and author, went on Morgan’s show to promote her book, Redefining Realness. She has been making media rounds as expected for fledgling author and she probably figured that it would be pretty routine. Sadly, Morgan showed his white cisgendered privileged ass. The first interview was cordial enough even though Morgan and his news packaging team kept emphasizing that she was supposedly a former man or boy and asked some fucked up questions. All hell broke loose after that interview when Janet used her Twitter account to express her dislike of the terminology used during the segment and in the information bars placed across the screen. Her supporters called him out and then the tears started flowing. There were enough white tears to keep Janet’s curls tight and defined for months.

It was messy and the mess carried on to a second interview on the show. During the exchange, Morgan’s tone was hostile and accusatory as if Janet stepped on his Jordan’s and kicked his dog. He was demanding of explanations he didn’t deserve and when Janet did get the chance to speak, he interrupted and cut her off. When asked why she didn’t say anything about Morgan’s use of terminology during the first segment, Janet admitted that she was scared and considering how Morgan acted on Twitter and during the second interview, I can’t say that I blame her. She felt unsafe, like many marginalized people do in certain environments, and addressed her issue the best way she knew how. Morgan continuously stated that he felt villanized but from the looks of that second interview, it seemed like that was his intent with Janet.

As I watched these segments, I couldn’t help but think of Laverne Cox‘s and Carmen Carerra‘s visit to the Katie Couric Show a few weeks ago. Like Morgan, Couric asked both of the ladies some invasive questions and used incorrect terminology. Couric also reacted indignantly when Carmen brushed off one of the questions by asking Laverne the same question and making slick remarks about Carmen refusing to answer her. Like Mock, both ladies kept it cute and remained cordial although it seemed like these television hosts wanted to fetishize them for ratings. Both Couric and Morgan claim to be allies but like many so-called allies, they suck at it so I’m going to give them a few pointers:

  • When called out, shut your damn mouth and listen.
  • Marginalized people don’t owe you a damn thing, including an explanation. If you really want to know, do the damn research.
  • Sometimes marginalized people don’t say anything because they feel unsafe. It is never too late for them to stand up for themselves when they feel safe.

Ugh. That’s all I got for now.

I have plans to do a learning type thing on allyship as well as something with Janet’s book so keep a look out.

Wanna add some tips for these fool ass allies? Leave a comment. 



3 thoughts on “Piers Morgan and Other “Allies” Need to Learn How to Shut Up

  1. UnfriendlyBlackHotty (@MalcolmEssex) says:

    Yeees! This is a great point by point! I think you definitely did a good #IstandWithJanet piece

    I’d add to that list, to specifically address Morgan’s claim of “Hey Im still an advocate for your cause”

    “Ally and advocate are not the say thing. An advocate speaks, but an Ally listens”

  2. tehgay says:

    Allies don’t get to choose causes. They just get to help them.

    I wish more allies realized that! What’s so frustrating to me about many allies, is that so many (As I’m sure I have as an ally in areas where I’m privileged) that want to help do what *they* think is necessary. But they will not listen long enough to find out what *I* think is necessary, as somebody who has a lot of stake in the outcome. So, for instance, there are many allies that believe that the most important thing ever is being nice to other allies and educating bigots and recruiting more people to the cause and making them feel included. And while those may be important things, those are not things I feel especially required to do, and they are not things I think are the most important. And yet if I hint at this, I find many allies reluctant to listen. Some actively work to silence me, fearing that I’m “Hurting” the “cause” by making other allies uncomfortable.

    Some are splendid and listen and modify their behavior and bounce stuff back and forth with me wonderfully. But I find that the kind of allies that cannot stop speaking are often the same allies that make power-plays to decide how is best to progress their own “cause.” And they’re tiring. And if they were real allies, they would listen to our causes and not try to control the “messaging.”

  3. QueerActivist says:

    With all due respect, if this is how Janet Mock and you treat your allies, then you will not have many allies.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s