Watch The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams Tear Down Fearmongering Bathroom Bills


On Wednesday night, The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams confronted the growing panic in state legislatures over transgender people and where they can go to the bathroom. North Carolina continues to face a massive backlash from the business community for the bathroom law it enacted in March that, among other things, requires people to pee in the location that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificates. Police departments in North Carolina say they’re puzzled by the law, which critics say will be all but impossible to enforce. On Wednesday, a state senator in South Carolina introduced another so-called bathroom bill, while the Tennessee House revived one of its own.

Williams interviewed several transgender people for her sketch, including a black trans woman who was arrested last year in Iowa—where she had traveled to attend a funeral—because she didn’t have a copy of her prescription for her hormone pills. (She spent eight days in jail and missed the funeral, and the charges were later dropped.) “Because of discrimination and profiling, at least 47 percent of black trans people will have at some point in their lives been incarcerated,” Williams explained. “You’d think there’d be laws to correct this. But instead, this year alone, state legislatures have introduced 175 anti-trans bills.”

Proponents of bathroom bills say they’re necessary to prevent trans women from acting as sexual predators on girls in bathrooms. But experts say these fears aren’t based on reality. “If anything, trans people are the ones getting assaulted,” one trans man told Williams. Watch the Daily Show clip above for more, and check out our coverage of anti-trans violence here.