When you make a mistake, you owe up to it, and learn from it. Well that is what Katie Couric has done.
‘I Think I Made a Mistake’: Katie Couric On Her Transgender EvolutionShe could have done many things but she had them back on her show…
Katie Couric says she was an “insensitive buffoon” for asking about a trans model’s “private parts.” Now she’s made a documentary about trans and intersex issues.
The Daily Beast
By Samantha Allen
February 5, 2017
Katie Couric is not afraid to admit she got it wrong.
On a January 2014 episode of her ABC daytime talk show Katie, the veteran TV journalist famously came under fire for asking transgender model Carmen Carrera awkward questions like “Was the whole process painful, physically, for you?” and “Your private parts are different now, aren’t they?”
The headlines the next day were harsh: BuzzFeed called the exchange “cringeworthy,” Salon labeled Couric’s questions “invasive,” and Slate slammed the interview as “really offensive.”
“When some people were very critical, of course it hurt me,” Couric told me over the phone in a conversation about Gender Revolution, her forthcoming National Geographic documentary on transgender and intersex issues. “I felt terrible.”
What critics didn't realize about the controversy at the time is that Couric, since 2014 global news anchor for Yahoo, had ample opportunity to avoid it altogether. The interview had been pre-taped weeks in advance and the producers, Couric told me, offered to remove the offending portion before the episode aired.
Couric knew that she had misstepped—but she refused.
“I think that I made a mistake,” she told the Daily Beast. “And I wanted to make sure that people knew that I recognized I made a mistake.”And she has learned from her mistake,
Couric’s curiosity is evident throughout the program, but so is her care. At one point, instead of asking a young transgender woman named Allison what she was called before transition, she asks if she can ask that question. When Allison says she’d “prefer not,” Couric uses it as an opportunity for an impromptu conversation about previous names, and how they can function as a distressing reminder of pre-transition life.Tonight on the National Geographic channel at 9 PM EST is going to be showing “Gender Revolution: with Katie Couric.” I will be watching it tonight and I bet she doesn’t make any more mistakes.
It’s an example of the way in which Couric has learned to create educational opportunities out of potentially challenging moments.