Amazon's new show Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, which premiered Friday, is receiving backlash for using a transphobic slur in a joke about trans people.
In the episode, a drone operator is mocked by his partner for getting a black eye. "Did you accidentally pick up another tr*nny on Fremont Street?" the character taunts.
— Eliel Cruz (@elielcruz) September 1, 2018
I’m a trans man & I was so excited for this show. This part came on & I wanted to cry I can’t watch it anymore cause of this line. Trans people are attacked everyday for just existing & the use of this slur advocates for that kind of treatment especially towards trans women
— august (@boytoy_tae) September 2, 2018
The "joke" is that he wasn't able to beat up a transwoman. Not only does this normalize violence against trans people, it reinforces the toxic notion that transwoman merely existing represent an existential threat to the fragile masculine identity of cis men.
— No Ice Please PDX (@1plus2arrows) September 1, 2018
It's funny because he became violent when realising he was with a trans women, forcing her to try and defend herself. Hopefully he didn't murder her. What a funny joke this is.
— Regular Robyn (@WriteyFolks) September 1, 2018
This comes after Amazon came under fire by employees after LGBTQ Pride posters were defaced at its headquarters. An unknown culprit crossed out the "T" in "LGBT," or simply wrote "Why?" over the Pride message.
Yeah same. But honestly the whole Jack Ryan fantasy is based on toxic masculinity anyhow so I was already considering a pass. Now I don't have to wonder if I made a mistake.
— Allie, baby! (@TrzTouristAllie) September 2, 2018
Others used the moment to also highlight how Jack Ryan reinforces toxic masculinity and has devastatingly poor representation of women. The show does not pass the Bechdel test. There are two female characters: Jack's love interest, Cathy, and his nemesis Suleiman's wife, Hani. The two exist only in relation to men, and even when they have scenes including other women, they talk exclusively about their male partners.
Jack Ryan pilot:
-low on econ
-heavy on gunfire, blood, sweat
-spectacularly fails Bechdel test
— Prof Dynarski (@dynarski) September 3, 2018
Instead, the thriller centers on Jack Ryan, a white straight man who continuually knows better than all the more qualified people of color around him. It also includes a woman being shot and two attempted rapes, without meaningfully addressing violence against women.
Also, in the CIA, none of Jack's female colleagues wield any power. Instead, he uses one who has a crush on him to break rules, and he gossips about another coworker's crush on a man.
Regarding the accusations of transphobia, viewers are holding John Krasinski personally accountable and are looking for answers.
Hey @johnkrasinski wanna comment on this since you're the face of this show that uses transphobic language and implies violence against a trans person?
— Ingrid Ostby (@ingridostby) September 1, 2018
I'd also like to know, @johnkrasinski. You're an EP on the show too, so it's not like you can claim to just be the talent.
— Luca Beale (@brewstronomy) September 1, 2018
Really disappointed. I was anticipating “Jack Ryan” for a while yet will not support anti-LGBTQ/sexist/racist/any -ist slurs. As a fan of yours and Emily’s, I didn’t expect this from you. Do better.https://t.co/n9wPfUkSzu
— CJ Dorschel (@atlas2112) September 1, 2018
If you haven't seen it yet, there is a scene in the new Amazon Prime *Jack Ryan* in which a French woman detective riffs at the protagonist on how "uptight" some American women are about men asking for dates. No wonder reviewers are already complaining the show is "problematic".
— Damian Counsell (@DamCou) September 3, 2018
Krasinski and Amazon have yet to comment on the controversy.