GLAAD Receives Apology from Lil Mama for Comments Made on America's Best Dance Crew

By GLAAD |
September 2, 2009

On Monday we reported an incident that occurred on Sunday's edition of America's Best Dance Crew in which judge Lil Mama made misinformed comments to transgender contestant Leiomy Maldonado. After receiving numerous complaints from constituents, GLAAD reach out to MTV and Lil Mama.

Lil Mama on the set of "America's Best Dance Crew"

Lil Mama on the set of "America's Best Dance Crew"

This morning recieved an apology from Lil Mama:

Lil Mama: "I would like to clarify anything that was misunderstood from Sunday's show. My remarks were never meant to be disrespectful regarding Leiomy's gender nor offensive to the LGBT community, which has been a community that has supported me in all my endeavors. However, in hindsight, I recognize that my words may have come across as hurtful. I spoke with her privately after the taping to express that it was not my intent to offend her or any member of the transgender community and that I still live for Vogue Evolution."

GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson, responded to Lil Mama's statement:

"While we thank Lil Mama for her apology, this incident demonstrates the need for more education around the lives and experiences of transgender people. Lil Mama’s comments during her critique attempted to impose standards of conformity for gender identity and expression -- a mistake that many people make,” said Rashad Robinson, Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD.

Leiomy Maldonado

Vogue Evolution's Leiomy Maldonado

“Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, become targets of discrimination and violence when inaccuracies and acts of insult like this are advanced. Contrary to what was said on the program, as an openly transgender woman and dance contestant, Leiomy is living her truth,” Robinson continued.

“It was surprising that MTV, a network that has shown a strong commitment to fair and accurate inclusion of transgender and gay people, would choose to air a clip that includes such disrespectful comments,” said Robinson. MTV has not yet publicly addressed the comments made by Lil Mama in the episode.

GLAAD's full statment can be found on our homepage.

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