The photo was used by the news organisation on its website. The image is from the 1993 comedy film Mrs Doubtfire in which Robin Williams goes to drastic lengths to spend time with his children; by dressing as an old woman in order to be hired as their nanny. The comedy film also starred Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan.
The news network added a still from the film, with Williams dressed up as Mrs Doubtfire, for a news story by Associated Press which Fox News posted on its website. The story was about the decision of regulators in the American states of Oregon and California to order health insurance companies to stop denying coverage to transgender patients.
Needless to say Fox News’ choice of photo for the story has provoked criticism with the organisation accused of transphobia by some. Journalist and campaigner Janet Mock told the Take Part website “Beyond being biased, the image is problematic for a number of reasons. Trans people are not wearing a costume. Our lives and struggles are not jokes, and using such an image spreads damaging stereotypes that who we are is put on, entertainment and fictional. It’s those same misconceptions and stereotypes that allow trans people to be discriminated against when it comes to access to housing, employment and healthcare.”
Fox News has since replaced the image with a generic health related photo but it is not the first time the organisation has come under fire for its coverage of sensitive issues.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, source Pink News]