When Duval implied that he would kill a sexual partner he found out to be transgender, host Charlamagne Tha God (Leonard Lenard McKelvey) said, "That's a hate crime, you can't do that." But Duval continued to defend his statement.
"You manipulated me to believe this thing. My mind, I'm gay now," Duval said, adding, "there should be some kind of repercussions for that if you do that to somebody. Until then, I’m going to have my own repercussions.”
At one point, Duval appeared to backtrack, accusing the hosts of trying to "flip" his words. "I didn't say I'm going to kill transgenders," he said. "I said, if one did that to me, and they didn't tell me, I'm going to be so mad I'm probably going to want to kill them."
Activists quickly launched several hashtags on Twitter, including #BoycottBreakfastClub and #TransFolksAreNotJokes, to denounce Duval's words, and the comedian's name became a trending topic on the platform over the weekend. Several transgender public figures have since commented on the exchange, including Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox.
"Some folks think it’s ok to joke about wanting to kill us,” Cox wrote in a series of tweets on Sunday (July 30). “We have free speech but that speech has consequences and trans folks are experiencing the negative consequences with our lives. It hurts my spirit cause this isn’t funny. Our lives matter. Trans murder isn’t a joke.”
Writer and transgender rights activist Janet Mock penned an essay for Allure published this morning (July 31) to address the comments along with her own guest spot on a July 18 episode of Breakfast Club, where she joined the hosts to discuss her new memoir, Surpassing Certainty.
"I hoped I could make listeners aware of the lived realities of their trans sisters, and let them know that we deserve to be seen, heard, and acknowledged without the threat of harassment, exclusion, and violence," Mock writes about her appearance on the show. "Until cis people -- especially heteronormative men -- are able to interrogate their own toxic masculinity and realize their own gender performance is literally killing trans women, cis men will continue to persecute trans women and blame them for their own deaths."
It's not the first time the talk show has faced scrutiny for its often controversial points of conversation. Just last week, Rick Ross issued an apology for joking on the show that he hasn't signed a female rapper to his Maybach Music Group label because he "would end up f---ing" her.
Watch the full Breakfast Club episode featuring Lil Duval below. The conversation in question begins around the 6:20 mark.