Rupert Murdoch-owned TV channel Fox News has attracted criticism after playing Aerosmith’s ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’ over a slot about Chelsea Manning.
The former US soldier and Wikileaks whistleblower recently revealed her desire to change her name from Bradley to Chelsea and undergo hormone therapy.
Many transgender campaigners praised her for her bravery in coming out and urged media outlets to respect her wish to be referred to with female pronouns from now on.
However Fox News chose to make clear their disregard for Manning’s decision by playing the Aerosmith song alongside a split picture of Chelsea before and after she came out as the 'Fox and Friends' segment went to commercial break.
Fox American Newsroom host Gregg Jarrett had already made his feelings clear on Friday, saying “I don't do what Bradley Manning wants me to do.”
Anticipating a backlash he added: “People out there, don't send me angry emails that I referred to him as Bradley and not Chelsea and him instead of her.”
Manning made the announcement she wanted to be known as Chelsea just a day after was sentenced to 35 years in prison for perpetrating the largest leak of classified materials in US history.
In a statement issued to NBC news she said: “I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female.”
She went on: “Given the way I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
A number of media outlets have struggled to comply with Manning’s wishes, with CNN saying it won't refer to Manning with a female pronoun because she has “not yet taken any steps toward gender transition through surgery or hormone replacement therapy.”
However the Associated Press issued the following statement, saying they “will henceforth use Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning and female pronouns for the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, in accordance with her wishes to live as a woman."
Trans Media Watch, is a charity which works with media outlets to ensure transgender and intersex people are treated with dignity and respect, responded to Chelsea Manning's announcement with the following statement:
“It is now widely understood that most trans people have consistent gender identities from early in their lives. Chelsea has said clearly that she has felt female since childhood. She is no less entitled to respect for that identity because it doesn’t match her appearance. She is no less entitled to respect for her chosen name than George Osborne or Jodie Foster. In the 21st Century, we expect the media to know better than to dismiss somebody’s identity just because they are trans.”