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Stefanovic apologises for 'tranny' jokes

AAP logoAAP 28/07/2016

"I'm an ignorant fool."

That's what Today show host Karl Stefanovic told viewers on Friday during an abject apology to the LBGT community for his on-air comments the day before.

The Nine Network star had reeled off a stream of "tranny" jokes after a camera crew in Rio De Janeiro for the Olympics reported it had been attacked by a "transvestite".

The term "tranny" can be ambiguous for some. It's not alway clear if the reference is to a cross-dresser or a transgender woman.

Nine viewers - and a personal friend - took great offence at Stefanovic's remarks.

"By using the word `tranny', I offended an awful lot of beautiful sensitive people," he said.

"I didn't know the negative and deeply hurtful impact that has not only on the LBGT community but on their family and on their friends."

Stefanovic said he wrongly thought people would laugh along with him.

"Like so many other words we used in the past, it is now time to throw that one in the bin," he said.

"I'm very sorry for the hurt I caused to this community."

Stefanovic admitted he often laughed at things he shouldn't. "At times my humour is skewed in a very strange fashion".

For the record, a transvestite is a cross dresser, generally male, who likes wearing clothing of the opposite sex.

Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose identity or gender expression differs from that typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.

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