Trans actress Hunter Schafer called ‘bud’ by Jimmy Fallon, and fans aren’t happy

Jimmy Fallon has come under fire for calling Hunter Schafer bud.

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon sparked fierce discourse online after using the term “bud” while interviewing trans star Hunter Schafer on The Tonight Show.

The 23-year-old actor – who first rose to prominence after starring in HBO high school drama Euphoria – is now storming the big screen as Tigris Snow in the highly-anticipated Hunger Games prequel adaptation, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Schafer is a longtime fan of The Hunger Games franchise and recently told PinkNews it was her “favourite book series in middle school.”

While appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Saturday (18 November), she proved her fangirl status by sharing an image of her in a Capitol resident themed Halloween costume when she was younger.

During the excited interaction, the transgender actress expressed her joy at playing a Capitol citizen in the new film. Fallon then showed a promotional photo from the movie featuring Schafer dressed as Tigris, saying: “This is really cool! Now you’re in Hunger Games! Congratulations, bud!”


Hunter Schafer made her own @The Hunger Games costume for Halloween when she was younger. #FallonTonight #HungerGames #HunterSchafer

♬ original sound – FallonTonight

On social media some fans shared their dismay at Fallon’s choice of language, considering the term “bud” traditionally has male connotations.

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“‘Bud’ is NOT gender neutral. I have never heard anybody refer to a grown ass woman as ‘bud’ before. I hate Jimmy Fallon so much,” one person wrote.

While others are pointing Fallon has used the term “bud” for countless guests including cis women such as Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. Although most agree that the TV personality should have been more careful with his language on this occasion.

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PinkNews has reached out for comment to both Jimmy Fallon and Hunter Schafer’s representatives.

In her recent, exclusive interview with PinkNews, Schafer opened up about her excitement at bringing trans representation to the major blockbuster.

“It’s really cool,” Schafer said. “In general, [it’s] my first movie that’s come out, and it’s starting off with a bang. The way that Hollywood is moving with my community gives me faith that we’re headed in a good direction.”

“I don’t want to sensationalise it too much because at the end of the day I’m an actress,” she added. “This is what I do, so the trans element is really cool, but I’m just living for the fact that I get to do my art, work on my craft and that I’m getting these crazy opportunities. It’s really special.”

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is now out in cinemas.

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