Taika Waititi attends the Sydney premiere of Thor: Love And Thunder. (Don Arnold/WireImage)
Taika Waititi has come under fire over historic anti-trans tweets criticising trans women’s looks and deadnaming Caitlyn Jenner.
Waititi’s name began trending on Twitter following reports he and Rita Ora had married – but congratulations soon turned to criticism when users found historic tweets shaming trans women and beauty pageant contestants.
One such tweet, dated 16 January, 2013, reads: “No disrespect to men who want to be/dress as women. I should have just said their makeup looks manly. Also no disrespect to meth users.”
The “meth user” remark was a reference to an earlier rant where Waititi criticised beauty pageant contestants, saying: “Combining heels and bikini whilst plastering your face in orange so you resemble a leather pudding is totes empowering.”
No disrespect to men who want to be/dress as women. I should have just said their makeup looks manly. Also no disrespect to meth users.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) January 16, 2013
At the time, a Twitter user called him out for “slut-shaming, transphobia, and immense misogyny”.
But Taika Waititi doubled down: “My trans friends can walk in heels but you’re right, actual kathoey are better looking.” Kathoey is a word used for trans women in Thailand.
Although some fans were eager to point out the tweets were from nine years ago, this is not an isolated incident.
Another tweet from April 2015 deadnamed Caitlyn Jenner days after she came out as a trans woman. It also referenced the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, with Waititi saying: “We’ll all be wearing #JeSuis[Caitlyn]Jenner badges by Monday.”
Taika Waititi recently said ‘we’re all queer’
Waititi is yet to publicly address the tweets, which come after a period in which he has positioned himself as a LGBTQ+ ally.
He has recently played queer characters in Thor: Love and Thunder and his popular queer pirate HBO series Our Flag Means Death, notable for including a non-binary actor in a gender non-conforming role.
Explaining his passion for telling queer stories, he told Out magazine: “We’re all queer. Just to varying degrees of where we are on the spectrum I think. I think, innately, humans have all got some degree of queerness in them.”
Many were keen to underline that Waititi including queer characters in these projects does not excuse his previous actions, with one person tweeting: “Taika Waititi has had multiple transphobic tweets resurface, including one where he compares trans women to meth heads.
“And he’s still being called a queer icon cause he played a gay pirate, made some Nazis gay, and gave us 5 minutes of queer content over two MCU films?”
Another user wrote: “Most people don’t have old tweets like this. It’s unusual to be so vocally transphobic.
“I was only 22 when he wrote that and never felt the need to make fun of trans people.”
Comparing trans women coming out to a terrorist attack is not okay regardless of where you live actually
— Leonardo DaTwinki (@estrogencatboy) August 11, 2022
Now we can talk about how every instance of queer portrayal in this dude’s films is played for laughs / to make fun of said group. Sussy man since day dot. Into the bin!
— Amy Sargeant 🏳️⚧️ (@amy_sargeant_) August 11, 2022
very intrigued by all the non-trans women calling ppl ‘weird’ for being mad about taika waititi’s transphobia. he was in his 30s when he made the tweet. can yall stop telling trans women when they can be mad about transmisogyny?
— mac!! 🦋 (@crimeanwarvet) August 11, 2022
john mulaney, taika waititi — stop bestowing honorary queerness on mediocre cishet men. they will always betray you. https://t.co/gWLPdXZ5y7
— scarlet aeonia (@daughterofrot) August 11, 2022
Taika Watiti has been contacted for comment.