11/01/2019 14:39 GMT | Updated 11/01/2019 20:43 GMT

'Loose Women' Sparks Backlash Over Comments During Trans Debate

'Drag Race' star Michelle Visage is just one person who has called out the panel.

‘Loose Women’ is facing a backlash after the panellists made a series of  controversial comments during a debate about trans people. 

Friday’s show saw Andrea McLean, Nadia Sawalha, Stacey Solomon and Gloria Hunniford discuss the recent NHS row that came after a Telegraph investigation revealed that those who self-identify as female have been allowed to stay on women-only hospital wards. 

Despite saying she supported those who “choose” to be transgender, Gloria stated her belief is that if a “man still had his willy and his tackle, as far as I’m concerned, he/she is a man”, and should not be placed on a women’s ward. 

The 'Loose Women' panel have sparked controversy again

Andrea remarked that she believes the choice of the majority was being taken away, explaining “nine people on a ward could be feeling uncomfortable for the sake of one”. 

While Nadia said she felt sympathy for all sides of the argument, she went on to suggest that “another ward” for trans people could be a possibility.  

Luckily, Stacey was on hand to offer a more informed insight, commenting that just because someone hasn’t had gender confirmation surgery, doesn’t mean they are not a woman, and called for trans women to be integrated, not segregated. 

She said: “Just as you wouldn’t want to be on a ward with the opposite gender, these women, who identify as women but have different body parts, they feel exactly they same as you – they do not want to be on a ward with men, because they have always felt they are a woman.

“There should not have to be another ward, because if you identify as a woman, why aren’t you allowed to identify as a woman, and be a woman?”

The debate left many people feeling angry at the panel’s misunderstanding of gender issues, with some calling them out on social media:

Their most famous critic came in the form of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ judge Michelle Visage, who called the show out for having no trans representation during the debate. 

This sentiment was echoed by many others on social media, who agreed the discussion would have been better served with the input of a trans woman.

HuffPost UK has contacted a ‘Loose Women’ spokesperson for comment and is awaiting a response. 

The views displayed by the majority of the panel on Friday were somewhat of a step back for the show, as it previously made TV history for trans representation in 2016. 

India Willoughby’s appearance as a panellist meant it was the first time an all-female show had featured a transwoman on the presenting team, with the episode subsequently winning a Diversity In Media award. 

However, it is far from the first time the daytime show has been embroiled in controversy. 

In 2018, the show was the second-most complained about show on TV, according to media watchdog Ofcom, thanks to a row between panellist Coleen Nolan and guest Kim Woodburn

‘Loose Women’ airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV. 

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