Writer and activist Janet Mock was invited back onto “Piers Morgan Live” for a second live interview on February 5. The invitation was extended by Morgan following a heated Twitter discussion between the host and Mock after the author admitted to BuzzFeed, following her interview with Morgan on February 4, that she felt the host was seeking to “sensationalize” her life.
“So, this is the amazing thing about you,” Morgan began upon greeting Mock. “Had I not known anything about your story, I would’ve had absolutely not a clue that you used to be a boy—a male.” Morgan made it a habit to bring up topics that were unrelated to the issues discussed in Mock’s new memoir, “Redefining Realness,” which she was there to promote.
Despite that the writer has never identified as male, Morgan ended the first segment of the interview telling viewers that Mock at one point had to tell the man she was dating that she “used to be [herself]a man.” At another point during the interview, the tagline “was a boy until age 18” displayed onscreen.
“He’s trying to do info-tainment,” Mock told BuzzFeed Tuesday night. “He doesn’t really want to talk about trans issues, he wants to sensationalize my life and not really talk about the work that I do and what the purpose of me writing this book was about.
“My book is not about Aaron or my relationship, but that’s the most sensational thing they want to pull out,” she said. “They’re not talking about my advocacy or anything like that, it’s just about this most sensationalized… meme of discussion of trans women’s lives: ‘We’re not real women, so therefore if we’re in relationships with men we’re deceiving them.’ So, it just feeds into those same kinds of myths and fears that they spread around, which leads to further violence of trans women’s bodies and identities.”
Mock told BuzzFeed she was at a book release party when the show aired, and she and her friends decided to fight back against the “info-tainment” via social media. The writer didn’t hesitate in voicing her dissatisfaction, nor did her followers—who deemed the handling of the interview “insensitive” and “unacceptable.”
During a teaser tweet, the talk show host asked his followers: “How would you feel if you found out the woman you were dating was formerly a man?”
Mock shot back with, “I was not ‘formerly a man.’ pls stop sensationalizing my life and misgendering trans women. #redefiningrealness.”
Morgan took to Twitter as well to defend himself, claiming that Mock didn’t seem to have an issue with the direction of the interview during taping and that he was disappointed that the writer was running to BuzzFeed to “cry foul.”
“I’ve been played in a disgustingly cruel manner,” he tweeted.
On February 4, the pair agreed to hash things out on-air a second time to discuss some of the issues Mock had with Morgan’s handling of the interview and its primary focus.
The second interview aired Wednesday, February 5, when the pair further discussed some topics from the original spot. Mock also offered the following explanation for her second appearance in as many nights: “I want this to be a learning and teaching moment for all of us,” she said on-air. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding.”
Mock’s memoir is available now in retail stores and on her website.