Jonathan Van Ness Claims Heated Exchange With Dax Shepard Over Trans Rights Was Edited

“I did ask what that was going to look or sound like because that was quite a conversation, and I was not given insight into that.”
Jonathan Van Ness and Dax Shepard
Jonathan Van Ness and Dax Shepard
Getty Images

Jonathan Van Ness says listeners aren’t getting the full story when it comes to their prickly exchange with Dax Shepard on the subject of transgender rights.

The Queer Eye star ― who is nonbinary ― broke down in tears during a September appearance on Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. The pair’s chat took an emotional turn when Shepard pushed back on Van Ness’ defence of trans youth.

During an interview on Keke Palmer’s Baby, This is Keke Palmer podcast released on Tuesday, Van Ness said that “significant pieces” of their conversation with Shepard were edited from the Armchair Expert episode before it was released.

“If you listen to podcasts, you know what an edit is,” Van Ness explained. “That was an edit, and that was an edit I asked for approval or insight into and was not given.”

Van Ness also claimed that they asked Shepard’s team for a transcript of the interview before it went live, only to have that request ignored.

“I did ask what that was going to look or sound like because that was quite a conversation,” they added, “And I was not given insight into that.”

Watch Jonathan Van Ness’ Baby, This is Keke Palmer interview below. Their comments on the Dax Shepard chat can be found around the 18:27 mark:

Representatives for Armchair Expert did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment on Van Ness’ claims.

Shepard, it must be noted, offered an on-air apology to Van Ness immediately following the tense September interview in which he’d said he could “sympathise” with conservative Americans who “don’t like how quickly the country’s changing” with respect to transgender rights.

“Some people are very uncomfortable about teenagers transitioning. They’re challenging that,” Shepard had said during the podcast episode.

“How do we know that person’s not gonna change their mind? … Well, if they kill themselves? And that’s really fucking permanent — that’s a good counterargument.”

The headline-making conversation ended with a teary Van Ness telling the host: “I wish that people were as passionate about little kids being able to be included or grow up as they were about fictitious women’s fairness in sport.”

Van Ness also told Palmer they’re ultimately “grateful” that Shepard “had the courage” to release the tense interview, in spite of the controversy it drew.

“I do think that he brought a conversation into more people’s homes than would’ve been having that conversation had he not,” they said.

Help and support:

  • The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
  • Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
  • LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
  • Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
  • Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK

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