Mistakes were made, and subsequently atoned for. On Thursday morning, Australian television host Karl Stefanovic raised the ire of Today Show viewers with offhanded remarks about the transgender community, referring to them as “trannies.”
Stefanovic and his co-host Sylvia Jeffreys were discussing an odd incident involving Channel Nine journalist Christine Ahern, a cameraman, and a security guard, all of whom were embroiled in a confrontation with a transgender person on a Rio beach after she tried stealing from the crew.
Related: Iconic TV Psychic Miss Cleo Is Dead
Jeffreys remarked that Stefanovic was “no stranger to the ways of the tranny” and said she had “fought off tougher trannies” before. He joined in kind, holding up a poster of actor Hugo Weaving in drag from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and claiming he might be the suspect police were searching for.
“We’ve got a confit (police sketch) done up and we know not all trannies look the same,” he said. “Is that the tranny there that we’re talking about, Hugo Weaving like?”
Now, he’s stepped forward to publicly apologize for those remarks, saying he often laughs at things he shouldn’t and that he “didn’t know the negative and deeply hurtful impact” of his comments.
“As we all know I can be a complete tool,” he said. “Yesterday I was worse, I was an ignorant tool.”
@karlstefanovic awesome job apologising and encouraging people to educate themselves about the power of language. Nice one!!!
— Indie Bag (@purpleseawater) July 29, 2016
Watch the apology, and decide whether you’ll forgive him or just be really difficult: