Cher, speaking by phone as Chaz was interviewed on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show, Anderson, told the CNN anchor that she was upset with the judges’ treatment of her son.
“I just thought they were rude,” Cher, 65, told Cooper in the episode, which is set to air Tuesday. “And it was gratuitous rudeness, and I was just pissed off. I was just really upset. Not that Chaz was voted off, but that they were so disrespectful.”
She was likely referring to judge Bruno Tonioli’s comparing Chaz to a penguin when critiquing his final routine with partner Lacey Schwimmer, comments that Schwimmer and Bono also described as offensive.
Bono, 42, was the show’s first transgender contestant.
Cher acknowledges it was difficult to hear about Chaz’s desire to transition from female to male.
“As a mom, you have a child, and then all of a sudden you have a different child,” she explained. “But you have the same child. And so, it’s very hard to kind of twist your mind around to the adjustment. But then, when you look at it and you’re around your child, you just think, no difference. Same child, different wrapping.”
For others, she admits, the new mindset may prove more difficult.
“There are some people that are never going to be able to move out of their comfort zone,” she said. “But I think that when people could see Chaz and see what a wonderful person he is, and kind and funny and all that, then maybe they could just relax off of what their preconceptions are.”