Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live.

The popular Saturday Night Live television comedy show has been criticised for presenting a joke about South African runner Caster Semenya.

According to America’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) the joke was included in the shows’ ‘Weekend Update’ segment, which comments on current news events.

During the segment, comedian and actress Amy Poehler said:

“Caster Semenya, the champion South African runner whose gender has been called into question, withdrew from a cross country race this past weekend citing an unspecified injury. No word on what the injury is, though it’s rumoured she’s suffering from an enlarged penis.”

GLAAD said that it was very alarmed that the show’s broadcaster, NBC, “chose to make fun of the young athlete in this dehumanising manner, particularly given reports that Semenya is on suicide watch.”

Apparently leaked results of Semenya’s gender testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations have led to an international media frenzy around the athlete.

The organisation added that it is “currently reaching out to NBC with serious concerns about this crass and stigmatising joke.”

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