A transgender woman said her friendship with actor T.J. Miller ended when he reacted with a diatribe after she pointed out a transphobic joke on his website.
Danielle Solzman, 33, sent Miller a two-line email in August noting that in the description for the actor’s website, the phrase “Tranny Dumpster Sex” appears along with “Straight Dumpster Sex.”
“It’s very offensive,” Solzman said in the email to him.
In his email response, Miller lashed out, calling her a “fucking asshole” and saying that “I feel pity for you.”
The emails were given to HuffPost by Solzman. HuffPost has verified the email came from Miller.
“You have merely confirmed what I always knew,” Miller said in his email. “This pursuit of transgender identity is nothing more than an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself as someone who is special, but what is really special is how retarded it is that you would ever think to attack me or say that I’ve been offensive.”
Solzman said she made acquaintance with Miller, 36, on Myspace in 2005, and then met him in person in 2010 as they frequented similar comedy clubs in Chicago. Solzman said she came out to Miller as transgender in November 2015, and that he was supportive of her.
“I honestly don’t know what changed,” Solzman told HuffPost. “It was after ‘The Emoji Movie’ (in which Miller starred). Knowing T.J., I just decided to personally email him that his website has an offensive slur.”
In his email, Miller referred to Solzman as a “weird strange terrible man” and defended himself by saying “not only have I said sex with transgender people, but I have donated widely to organizations that support their freedom.”
“You’re not a transgender, you’re not a tranny ― your [sic] a fucking asshole daniel [sic]. A fucking asshole. Don’t respond to this don’t ever contact me again and don’t think that just because you’re [sic] adopted something, that that thing allows you to then be rude and incorrect about your friends. Well. Those who used to be your friends.”
A representative for Miller told HuffPost that his client was “admittedly going through some things” when he sent the email, but that he isn’t transphobic.
“This is not about him not liking transgender people,” the representative ― who asked not to be named ― said. “It’s about a specific issue he has with this person. Earlier that day he mentioned how much he supports that person.”
Solzman said she didn’t understand what warranted Miller’s reaction.
“All I did was politely let him know that their website’s meta description included a trans slur and it was offensive,” she said. “That’s all I did. And then he comes back with all this.”
Solzman said she immediately blocked Miller on social media platforms. She said that in September, she tried to interest various publications in a story on his responses. That’s when she began to get harassing text messages.
“Stop it, Daniel / TJ is getting tired of your games and you are about to be blacklisted as a ‘critic.’ Lawyers will be involved. Stop now.”
The text came from an anonymous number through the website Text For Free. Screenshots of the texts were provided by Solzman.
“Turning this over to my lawyer, Daniel,” another text the following day read. “I have copies of the emails that you sent trying to get exposure for yourself and defaming TJ.”
Miller’s spokesman declined to comment on whether the texts were from the comedian.
Solzman called out Miller again on Twitter after a Tuesday report in The Daily Beast on allegations that he sexually assaulted and punched his college girlfriend.
Miller has displayed a pattern of disrespecting women. In a July interview with Vulture, he said women aren’t as funny as men. And at a September comedy show in New York, Miller allegedly made a female audience member cry after harassing her during a stand-up routine.
“He was clearly very messed up,” Lena Anderson, a former HuffPost employee who attended the show at Comedy Cellar, said. “He was just going after this girl and not saying jokes.”
Miller was eventually escorted off the stage by the host, Anderson said.