One of the eliminated contestants from The Masked Singer franchise dropped a transphobic slur when describing her attempt to conceal her identity from the judges.
Kate Ceberano, a jazz singer and vocalist, was eliminated seventh on Australia’s edition of the wildly popular singing competition in which C- and D-list celebrities don elaborate costumes as a panel of "experts" attempt to guess who they are. Nineteen countries have their own version of The Masked Singer, and in the Land Down Under, panelists include Dannii Minogue (sister to Kylie) and accent enthusiast Lindsay Lohan.
Ceberano, who was dressed as a Lion, was voted off Masked Singer Australia last week — just ahead of its first season finale.
While discussing her time on the reality program, the 52-year-old told the Australian radio show, The Kyle and Jackie O Show, that the producers were concerned her singing voice might be too identifiable for audience members in her home country. "Is there any way you can help us along and modify your voice?" she asked.
"I lowered my register and made myself sound like the 'tranny' version of myself," Ceberano said, to laughter from the hosts.
According to the U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail, the singer repeated nearly the exact same remarks — word for word — just hours later in an interview with the Australian morning talk show Studio 10.
The term “tranny” is a hateful, derogatory slur often directed at members of the transgender community, one that is often used by perpetrators when violently assuaulting or even killing trans people. According to the national media watchdog group GLAAD, the word serves to “dehumanize transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media.”
“Please note that while some transgender people may use ‘tranny’ to describe themselves,” the organziation claims, “others find it extremely offensive.”
Ceberano has yet to apologize for using the term nor has Masked Singer Australia commented on the controversy. A video of the Kyle and Jackie O interview remains on the singer’s Twitter timeline.
The U.S. version is currently airing its second season on Fox, featuring judges Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, and Robin Thicke.