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To: Idols SA

Stop the Hate: #TransphobiaOnIdolsSA

Dear Idols SA,

We, the undersigned, call on Idols to address the transphobia toward a contestant, Ashern Madlopha, on Idols SA with the seriousness it deserves. For a show that is supported nationally and regionally, must recognise and respect diversity of people and respect the Constitution of South Africa. As organisations working around human rights issues, we can no longer tolerate the continued behaviour that perpetuate discrimination, and as a result hate crime in communities.

We demand that an immediate public and private apology be issued to Ashern Madlopha. The apology should be written and broadcasted on the show.

As part of the apology, Idols SA judges, producers and the show host must undergo sensitisation training around gender and human sexuality.

Why is this important?

Injabulo Anti-Bulling Project (IABP) strongly condemns the transphobia perpetuated by Idols SA towards a contestant, Ashern Madlopha [1]. The actions of the judges perpetuate the prejudice, hostility, humiliation and hatred trans* people experience on daily basis. Furthermore, it undermines tireless work of many organisations fighting against transphobia. Most importantly, the judges’ actions undermine and violates Ashern’s rights to human dignity and freedom from inhumane and/or degrading treatment by people as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996).

Despite South Africa’s progressive constitution, levels of transphobia and hate crimes remain alarmingly high. Trans* people are often more susceptible to mental health conditions due to victimization, social stigma, social exclusion, prejudice and other biases. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has the eighth highest suicide rate in the world, with 8 000 South Africans dying by suicide, yearly. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) reports that 23 000 people in South Africa die by suicide every day, while 460 people attempt suicide every 24 hours [2]. Considering the high levels of discrimination, exclusion and trauma experienced by trans* people, these rates are likely to be significantly higher among transgender communities in comparison to the general public. It is precisely the attitudes and behaviour of the Idols SA judges, host and producers that augments depression, anxiety and suicide rates in our transgender communities. IABP views transphobia and the silence surrounding it as a direct manifestation of the heteronormative patriarchal society we live in, pervaded with gender binaries, violence and authoritarianisms.

As media personalities and people of influence, whom many young children admire, Idols SA’s, judges, producers and show host need to be held responsible for their behaviour. The show and its employees have a responsibility to promote inclusivity and respect diversity. Add your voice to take a stand against transphobia. Trans* rights and human rights. We cannot tolerate anyone mocking another person because of their gender identity. We have a social responsibility to protect trans* people. We need everyone in our communities and society to take a stand against transphobia, commit to actively address gender stereotypes, and treat everyone with love, dignity and respect irrespective of gender identity.

Siyaphambili! | Forward Ever!

*used to include all transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming identities.

This petition is endorsed by Access Chapter 2. Access Chapter 2 is a NPO established in 2013, aimed at promoting human rights and the empowerment of women and LGBTI people, and initiating the participation of civil society organisations in governance and policy processes at local, national, regional and international level [3].





2017-08-04 17:33:55 +0200

100 signatures reached

2017-08-04 11:06:18 +0200

50 signatures reached

2017-08-04 09:18:07 +0200

25 signatures reached

2017-08-03 22:16:38 +0200

10 signatures reached